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Shorter QBs face longer odds

Maybe the Ravens' second-day pick Troy Smith will wind up as the team's quarterback of the future and go on to a Pro Bowl career, but there are parallels between the former Ohio State star and several prolific college QBs who were similiarly successful in the NCAA but had only so-so careers in the NFL.

I'm reminded of Don McPherson of Syracuse, Ty Detmer from BYU and Danny Wuerffel of Florida.

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Like Smith, both Wuerffel and Detmer (but as a junior) won the Heisman; McPherson was a runner-up (to Tim Brown).

Smith is a fifth-round draft choice. Wuerffel went in the fourth round (1997), McPherson was a sixth-rounder (1988), and Detmer a ninth-rounder (1992).

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Smith, as we know, is 6-feet. McPherson and Wuerffel were 6-1 and Detmer 5-11.

All four were penalized in the draft because of questions concerning their size and/or arm strength, although in Smith's case, he can get the ball downfield with authority.

However, does all this mean that Smith's pro career will follow that of those three who had careers of varying lengths but were still far from Prol Bowl caliber?

Or does he have a shot to emulate another relatively shorter QB, 6-foot Drew Brees, who has been a winner in both San Diego and New Orleans? Of course, coming out of Purdue in 2000, Brees was considered a better prospect going at the top of the second round.

 

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