Josh McDaniels made a few questionable decisions during his desultory first draft as Broncos head coach, but none looks worse than the decision to trade a first-round pick for cornerback Alphonso Smith.
The draft class has time to turn it around, but Smith may not. One year later, Dave Krieger of the Denver Post writes that Smith may not even make the team.
At this point, Smith appears to be battling rookie seventh-round pick Syd’Quan Thompson for the ninth and possibly final defensive back roster spot. Thompson is coming off a preseason performance that showed more promise than anything Smith has done as a pro.
Look, we understand bad picks happen. But McDaniels traded a 2010 first-round pick to Seattle to take Smith No. 37 overall. (The traded pick turned into the No. 14 selection; Seattle took Earl Thomas.) If you are going to gamble that big on an undersized cornerback, you better be right.
Smith’s possible release points out just how hard it is to judge college talent. The Broncos took cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Thompson in the fifth and seventh-round respectively in 2010. They both look like long-term keepers.
Smith, essentially taken with a first-round pick, may be one and done.