In the first of many Twitter-based announcements, Maryland junior wide receiver Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) wrote that he is "forgoing my last year of eligibility to enter the nfl draft #terpnation and all supporters I appreciate your support."
Most expected this declaration, as Smith's head coach, Ralph Friedgen, was not retained for 2011 and Smith's production this season (67 receptions for 1,056 yards and 12 touchdowns) earned him first-team All-ACC honors and solid top 50 grades from scouts.
His two catch, 11-yard effort in the team's 51-20 win over East Carolina today should have little effect on Smith's draft status - especially after he shows he has the track speed (expected to run sub-4.4 forties at the Combine) to go along with a six-foot, 200-plus pound frame. Not only can he separate from defenders downfield using that speed, but his quick feet on various routes made it seem like pitch-and-catch with redshirt freshman QB Danny O'Brien this year.
Many will point to the lackluster early career of former Terp/fellow speedster WR Darrius Heyward-Bey when evaluating Smith's pro potential. But Smith's game could be closer to that of Indianapolis Colts star Reggie Wayne, a lean, slashing receiver whose routes and speed eat up zones and make it tough to handle him one-on-one. Wayne's hands can also be suspect, however, and Smith tends to body-catch or lose concentration as well.
If all of the junior receivers expected to enter this year's draft actually declare, Smith may slip through the cracks a bit and end up a second-round bargain.
--Contributed by NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst Chad Reuter