Two games into his NFL career, one that started three months later than originally scheduled because of the lockout, the rookie out of Maryland was being scrutinized by fans and a few media members.
Poll: Which young Ravens receiver will have the best career?
- Which young Ravens receiver will have the best career?
- From the archives: Fleet Maryland receiver Torrey Smith ready for draft, challenges
Veteran speedster Lee Evans should be back in the lineup soon, if not Sunday night against the Jets then after the team’s bye week. When that happens, Smith’s role will likely diminish. But even if he is third on the depth chart, he can play a key role for the Ravens offense, one that might not show up on the stat sheet.
Let’s be honest: The Rams looked foolish for not adjusting their gameplan after Smith blew by cornerback Justin King for a 74-yard touchdown on the Ravens’ first drive of the game. Moments later, the Rams got beat deep again after Joe Flacco made a beautiful play fake and threw another bomb down the field to Smith for six points. Defenses must respect Smith’s speed -- and they now will.
Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice and the team’s young tight ends will benefit from the extra running room. Of course Smith plans on being on the receiving end of a few more big plays, too.
"I never doubted myself for a minute," Smith said after becoming the first rookie in NFL history with three TD catches in a quarter. "I've been playing football forever. I've been making plays forever."
Your turn: Predict Torrey Smith's 2011 stat line.