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USA TODAY Sports

Alex Smith made sure his career, which he closed the book on by announcing his retirement Monday, didn't turn out to be one of the biggest busts in NFL history despite a lackluster start.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, completed just 50.9% of his passes for 875 yards with one touchdown to 11 interceptions (40.8 passer rating) in his rookie campaign -- one of only three quarterbacks in the history of the NFL to have just one touchdown (or fewer) and 11-plus interceptions while completing under 51% of his passes in a season (minimum 100 attempts). 

The other two quarterbacks to accomplish that dubious feat -- Scott Bull and Stan Heath -- were out of the league after having such an embarrassing year. Smith lasted 15 more seasons and earned three Pro Bowl selections, becoming one of the most accomplished quarterbacks of his era. He also survived 17 surgeries in his right leg to earn NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors in his final season -- not bad for a signal caller that threw more interceptions than touchdowns after his first six years in the league.

Smith didn't have a Hall of Fame career, but he's one of the top No. 1 overall draft picks in league history. He also was one of the NFL's top postseason quarterbacks, despite losing five of seven playoff starts. In this special edition of "By the Numbers," we'll take a look into Smith's long NFL career and where he stands with the No. 1 overall draft picks that were quarterbacks. 

Players to throw for 35,000 yards and rush for 2,500 yards (NFL history)

  • John Elway
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Fran Tarkenton
  • Donovan McNabb
  • Alex Smith

Smith is in a rare club here, throwing for 35,650 yards and 199 touchdowns in his career. Of the five players on this list, Smith has the fewest passing yards and fewest rushing yards (2,604). Elway (51,475), Rodgers, (51,245) and Tarkenton (47,003) each have thrown for over 45,000 yards in their careers. 

All of the quarterbacks outside of Smith have rushed for over 3,000 yards in their career, but Smith (86.9) has a higher career passer rating than McNabb (85.6), Tarkenton (80.4), and Elway (79.9). Smith is also the only quarterback in this club never to start in a Super Bowl. He has more quarterback wins (99) than McNabb (98) and has more fourth-quarter comebacks (19) than Rodgers (17) and McNabb (16). 

Smith is 27th on the league's all-time passing list amongst quarterbacks and tied for 46th in touchdown passes. He's 20th amongst quarterbacks in career rushing yards. Let's take a look where Smith ranks amongst No. 1 overall draft picks that were quarterbacks. 

No. 1 overall picks (rankings)

Passing touchdowns

  1. Peyton Manning -- 539
  2. Eli Manning -- 366
  3. John Elway -- 300
  4. Carson Palmer -- 294
  5. Vinny Testaverde -- 275
  6. Matthew Stafford -- 282
  7. Drew Bledsoe -- 251
  8. Terry Bradshaw -- 212
  9. Alex Smith -- 199
  10. Cam Newton -- 190

Completions

  1. Peyton Manning -- 6,125
  2. Eli Manning -- 4,895
  3. John Elway -- 4,123
  4. Carson Palmer -- 3,941
  5. Matthew Stafford -- 3,898
  6. Drew Bledsoe -- 3,839
  7. Vinny Testaverde -- 3,787
  8. Alex Smith -- 3,250
  9. Troy Aikman -- 2,898
  10. Cam Newton -- 2,613

Passing yards

  1. Peyton Manning -- 71,940
  2. Eli Manning -- 57,023
  3. John Elway -- 51,475
  4. Carson Palmer -- 46,247
  5. Vinny Testaverde -- 46,233
  6. Drew Bledsoe -- 44,611
  7. Matthew Stafford -- 45,109
  8. Alex Smith -- 35,650
  9. Troy Aikman -- 32,942
  10. Cam Newton -- 31,698

Completion percentage

  1. Peyton Manning -- 65.3
  2. Jared Goff -- 63.4
  3. Alex Smith -- 62.6
  4. Matthew Stafford -- 62.6
  5. Sam Bradford -- 62.5
  6. Carson Palmer -- 62.5 
  7. Troy Aikman -- 61.5

Passer rating 

  1. Peyton Manning -- 96.5
  2. Jared Goff -- 91.5
  3. Matthew Stafford -- 89.9
  4. Andrew Luck -- 89.5
  5. Carson Palmer -- 87.9
  6. Alex Smith -- 86.9
  7. Jameis Winston -- 86.9

Smith didn't become one of the top No. 1 overall picks that played quarterback overnight. Since Jim Harbaugh became the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, Smith turned his career around -- escaping the stigma of becoming one of the biggest busts in league history. 

Here's a look at the two parts of Smith's career:

  • 2005-2010: 57.07%, 9,399 yards, 51 TDs, 53 INTs, 72.1 rating; .352 win percentage (19-35 record); 0 Pro Bowls
  • 2011-2020: 64.85%, 26,251 yards, 148 TDs, 56 INTs, 92.9 rating; .679 win percentage (81-38-1 record); 3 Pro Bowls 

Of the 35 quarterbacks that threw over 1,000 passes from 2005 to 2010, Smith ranked 28th in touchdown passes, 32nd in completion percentage, 27th in passing yards, 34th in passer rating, and 32nd in yards per attempt (6.21). Smith also missed the entire 2008 season with a shoulder injury.

Of the 16 quarterbacks that threw over 3,000 passes from 2011 to 2018 (prior to Smith's broken leg), Smith was the second-winningest quarterback with a .683 win percentage (behind only Drew Brees). He ranked sixth in completion percentage, 13th in passing yards, 15th in passing touchdowns, and eighth in passer rating. Smith was one of 14 quarterbacks to earn three Pro Bowl selections during that span. 

Not a Hall of Fame career by any stretch, but Smith turned out to be a good quarterback for nearly a decade. Finally, here's a quick look at Smith's playoff stats:

Highest postseason passer rating (NFL history)

  1. Bart Starr -- 104.8
  2. Kurt Warner -- 102.8
  3. Matt Ryan -- 100.8
  4. Aaron Rodgers -- 100.5
  5. Patrick Mahomes -- 100.4
  6. Nick Foles -- 98.8
  7. Alex Smith -- 97.4
  8. Drew Brees -- 97.1
  9. Joe Montana -- 95.6
  10. Russell Wilson -- 95.3

Smith has started seven postseason games in his career, completing 61.7% of his passes for 1,745 yards with 14 touchdowns to two interceptions. Of the 10 quarterbacks with the highest postseason passer rating in league history, Smith is the only one to never start a Super Bowl (him and Ryan are the only two quarterbacks not to win one). 

Smith only started one conference championship game in his career, throwing two touchdowns to no interceptions (and not committing a turnover) in a 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants. He also was the starting quarterback of the biggest collapse in NFL playoff history, a 45-44 loss to the Indianapolis Colts (the Chiefs were up 38-10 and Smith threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and a lost fumble). 

While having hard luck in the playoffs (2-5 postseason record), there's no denying Smith turned his career around. All he needed was Harbaugh and Andy Reid to revitalize his play.