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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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Smith already showing immense talent

By Matt Sanchez

Let me start by saying that I believe Paul Kruger and Sean Smith will both have tremendous NFL careers and, more than likely, solid rookie seasons. However, Smith is the clear choice as to who will perform better in their first year.

Smith was drafted by the Miami Dolphins with the No. 29 pick of the second round by the man who is synonymous with success in the NFL: Bill Parcells. Parcells has successfully turned five different franchises from mediocre to Super Bowl contenders.

In 2007, before “The Big Tuna” arrived in South Beach, the Dolphins went 1-15. The following season, they went 11-5 and made the playoffs. He’s also responsible for building the foundation in New England for the dynasty the Patriots have become. The man is a genius when it comes to drafting young talent, and that alone tells you a lot about Smith.

In the 2009 draft, Miami used its first two selections on cornerbacks, Smith being the second. Vontae Davis from the University of Illinois was drafted ahead of Smith and from the get-go, Davis had people believing that if a rookie DB were to shine in Miami, it would be him. Smith saw this as an opportunity to put his talent on display and show everyone that he has what it takes to be a starter.

One week into training camp, the Dolphins demoted veteran corner Eric Davis, who has played in more than 30 NFL games, and gave Smith the starting job. All the while, Vontae Davis was playing well but like a rookie, picking up penalties and giving up big plays.

Smith is tall, athletic and fast. He can play pressure defense and match up against bigger, stronger wide-outs that smaller corners simply cannot. Being in the ultra-competitive AFC East with wide receivers such as Randy Moss and Terrell Owens waiting to run all over defenses, Smith looks like he will be a valuable asset.

Just last week, the Dolphins played the Jacksonville Jaguars in a preseason game. Pro-bowler Torry Holt lined up opposite Smith on several plays but didn’t get a single ball thrown his way. Smith, a rookie, shut down an extremely capable veteran.

Ute fans might remember that Smith is not lacking in the confidence department. After devastating the Mountain West Conference during his junior season, Smith would often talk trash to opposing teams after making a big play. But if he plays well, who cares about his diva ways?

But it seems as though the talkative former Ute could be changing his tune to that of a professional. After stopping a touchdown and intercepting a pass in his very first NFL game, Smith didn’t taunt or talk trash.

“I guess my long arms came in handy,” Smith told ESPN.com. “My whole focus is to go out and work hard and get better.”

No disrespect to Kruger, one of my all-time favorite Utes, but Smith will have a better rookie season.

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