New York Jets: Potential Free Agent Torrey Smith
Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiverTorrey Smith
(82) warms up prior to the game against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
The free agent class at wide receiver is one of the deepest in recent memory. The Jets are looking to improve their group at wide receiver, and that need will only be enhanced if Percy Harvin does not return. The Jets will be players in free agency, and wide receiver is a position that they will have their hands in, big time.
Over the last several days, we have started to look at some potential wide receivers the Jets could bring in. We have reviewed the now long-shot possibility of Demaryius Thomas, and a fan base favorite named Randall Cobb.
I have a candidate that I have mentioned in previous articles, who is under the radar, not attached to any rumors, but would make a great addition. He is young, and just may not come at the same high price as some of the others. His name is Torrey Smith.
Next: The Career Stats
Jan 10, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) catches the ball in front of New England Patriots cornerbackBrandon Browner
(39) during the third quarter in the 2014 AFC Divisional playoff football game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Let’s start, as always, by looking at the career stats:
Receiving & Rushing
The Jets need a big-play threat, and Torrey Smith is a big-play threat. Nearly 17 yards per catch is a big number. The stats show it, and turn on a Ravens game and you see it. Torrey Smith is a legitimate deep threat in the NFL. He can stretch the field, and do it consistently. It’s been a long time since the Jets have been able to do that.
Smith also averages over seven touchdowns per season, peaking with the 11 he posted in 2014. That makes Torrey Smith a trusted man near the goal line, and those can be hard to find.
Smith stands at 6’1″, which is not huge, but still a height that makes him a viable target, and the Ravens have proven that over the last four seasons.
Next: Some Mixed Results
Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) catches a long pass to set up a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
There are some mixed reviews, however, when you look at the more detailed statistics from Pro Football Focus.
First of all, Joe Flacco posted a 95.4 passer rating when throwing to Torrey Smith, placing him just outside the top twenty. However, his overall drop rate is 18.33%, good for second highest in the NFL.
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We talked about him being a deep threat. The Ravens clearly saw Smith that way, with almost 25% of his targets being for 20 yards or longer. His deep target percentage of 23.6% ranked Smith 18th in the league. However, he dropped 38.46% of his deep targets, second in the NFL.
Torrey Smith must improve in the hands department in order to take the next step.
Next: The Financials
Nov 24, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) tries to elude the tackle of New Orleans Saints strong safetyKenny Vaccaro
(32) in the fourth quarter of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The previous pages, however, may mitigate his financial demands.
Under his previous contract, Torrey Smith only averaged $847,308 per year, with only $1.7 million of the contract guaranteed. His performance will earn him a raise, but how much?
If you refer back to the first page, you see that Smith had a drop off in a couple of key areas in 2014. His receptions went to down from 64 to 49, and his yards went down from 1,128 to 767. His touchdowns skyrocketed, but in these areas he went down.
Combine that with the drops, and there is some risk here. Smith is a guy that won’t command front-line money. If the Jets can get Torrey Smith in here with a middle level contract, with incentives for catches, scores, …etc., that would mitigate the Jets risk and bring them a player with potentially very high reward.
If he can get the drops under control, Torrey Smith is an explosive down the field threat that the Jets should definitely explore when free agency opens in a few weeks.