Why Ryan Smith left early


Even though the NFL Draft Advisory Committee provided information to Smith that he likely wouldn’t be taken on the first day of the draft (three rounds), Smith said he simply felt it was time to leave because he’d accomplished everything he’d set out to do in his one year with the Gators.

“I had my degree, first of all,” he said. “We won the national championship, I was All-SEC, All-American. I pretty much accomplished everything that I came to college to do. I couldn’t pick a better time to leave. It would have been fine coming back under coach (Urban) Meyer. I think they’ll have a great team this season. In the situation I was in, it was good for me to move on.”

Smith said he’s been told he’ll likely be taken in the fourth round. He ran a 4.5 40 at the combine and appeared very quick in drills at Pro Day on Wednesday. And the NFL scouts probably love his tape from the 2006 season. No one in the country was better at breaking on the play and making plays in the secondary.

He may not be physically strong enough yet to be an every-down player in the league, but this is a guy who might go on to have a long career in the NFL.