Rookie Watch: Smith bolstering Ravens
Torrey Smith is fast. Very fast.
He is a one-trick pony right now in this regard, as he has value as a deep-route receiver only. But that value is great to the Ravens. Smith scares a defense, and the opponent often has to keep a deep support player on Smith's side of the field -- or play its coverage far off the line of scrimmage.
We also cannot overlook Smith's own tangible contributions. Ravens QB Joe Flacco has about as big of an arm as you will find. With his slower possession options a season ago, he was rarely able to air it out deep downfield. Smith has changed that.
Also, if you didn't see it, Smith had an apparent touchdown called back because he didn't get both feet in bounds this past weekend -- but it was a questionable call.
|Ranking||Player, position (draft position)||Last week|
|Von Miller, Broncos LB (first round, No. 2)
Miller was on bye in Week 6. That rest should do him a world of good as he gets back to full health and can get further accustomed to the game at this level. This week, Miller will often line up opposite Marc Colombo, Miami's stiff and slow-footed right tackle. Expect Miller to have a huge game.
|Cam Newton, Panthers QB (first round, No. 1)
Newton didn't have his best game against Atlanta, but he still impressed. Carolina is just throwing the ball way too much -- especially when considering how potent its ground game could be.
|A.J. Green, Bengals WR (first round, No. 4)
Green had another strong outing and hauled in yet another touchdown pass from fellow top-10 rookie Andy Dalton. Green has four touchdowns in six games, many of them long ones. He is a true deep threat and a fantastic talent.
|Aldon Smith, 49ers LB (first round, No. 7)
Smith sacked Lions QB Matthew Stafford in the end zone for a safety and later in the game had another sack -- this time causing a fumble. Smith has 5½ sacks over the past three weeks, which is when he began getting significant playing time. Amazingly, he is doing all this while playing about half of San Francisco's defensive snaps.
|Mike Pouncey, Dolphins C (first round, No. 15)
Despite a dismal performance overall on Monday night, the Dolphins did average 4.7 yards per carry and Pouncey had another strong showing. He is one of the few things Miami fans can be excited about this season.
|Jabaal Sheard, Browns DE (second round, No. 37)
Sheard had another sack in Week 6 and caused a fumble. He is playing at a high level and could do a lot of damage this week at home against the Seahawks' young offensive line.
|Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins LB (first round, No. 16)
The Redskins had a long day against the Eagles and their chance at a playoff berth took a big hit with the loss. Kerrigan didn't stand out in this contest, but his adaptation to outside linebacker at the NFL level remains extremely impressive, especially as a coverage player.
|Andy Dalton, Bengals QB (second round, No. 35)
The Bengals are 4-2. They had just four wins all of last season. Dalton gets it out quickly, and Cincinnati knows how to use him. He continues to exceed expectations.
|Tyron Smith, Cowboys OT (first round, No. 9)
Smith was up and down against the Patriots, but he has been a stalwart on the right side for Dallas in his first year, especially in pass protection.
|Marcell Dareus, Bills DT (first round, No. 3)
Dareus probably had his best outing as a professional in Week 6. His run defense is improving, and his physical ability is apparent to any viewer. His partner in crime, Kyle Williams, wasn't active for the Bills last week, but it looks as if they will be an elite pairing for years to come.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
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