Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 5/3/12

With this edition of “Getting to Know,” we turn to Chris Brown of Smart Football fame. Chris covers football at all levels — history, philosophy, Xs and Os — and was the author of several poignant Alabama-related pieces over at Grantland. Today, we are pleased to provide his take on the Browns’ seventh-round pick, Brad Smelley.

How would you characterize Brad’s college career?

He was a team first guy at Alabama and carved out a very important role on a star-studded offense. As I wrote in January, even if he’s not a crushing blocker or a Aaron Hernandez vertical threat as a receiver, he’s extremely versatile and, having originally committed to Alabama as a quarterback, very smart and understands the game.

What are the Browns getting with Smelley?

I do think Brad’s game translates to the NFL, which is why the Browns picked up a guy who maybe doesn’t jump off the charts athletically. If nothing else, he’s a good team guy and should contribute on special teams right away. He’s an interesting project. I didn’t analyze enough to know whether he’d be picked, but was happy to see that he was.

Brad isn’t a true-to-mold fullback, nor is he of the Jimmy Graham, pass-catching ilk. Nick Saban isn’t walking through that door. Essentially, where can dp you see Smelley fitting in with the Browns’ West Coast style of offense?

The way they used him at Alabama is basically exactly what I would think the Browns would do: Motioning around as an H-back, athletic enough to line up in the slot sometimes, lots of traps, pulls, kick-out type blocks, and then the fakes off those to release into the flat and so on. Obviously he needs to improve his strength and quickness both for the passing game but also to handle some of those tough edge rushers — he’ll have some tough matchups versus, say, the Ravens and Steelers but in time could develop into a very dependable guy.

Is there an NFL player that you think is a good comparison?

A good analogue for him would be how the 49ers used former sixth-round draft pick (and former WR) Delanie Walker. Walker is a bit more stout than Smelley, though he’s also been in the league for about five years, but Smelley is taller and should continue to fill out. The 49ers did a great job with him on all those traps, kick-outs, whams, and so on for them this year, in addition to being a legit — if unspectacular – receiving threat. I see this being something Smelley could do.

In addition to his take on Smelley, Chris also provided a take on what the Browns did with their first two picks in the NFL Draft – a highly recommended read for those who have yet to see it. Our thanks to him for taking the time.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Who should perform at Super Bowl 51?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Gabby Douglas joining judges for Miss America pageant

Recruit decommits from Michigan after mail mistake

Dez Bryant reportedly suffers concussion at practice

Kobe Bryant to be honored with his own day in LA on 8/24

Colts sign Antonio Cromartie

Connor McDavid: 'I’m not some 18-year-old kid anymore'

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Washington's Josh Norman speaks candidly about multiple NFL talking points

Derrick Rose: Knicks have chance to win every game

Ranking the MLB divisional races

Inside the Pokemon World Championships, where masters are born

NFL players under most pressure in preseason Week 3

Tre Mason's mother: RB is like '10-year-old' due to head injuries

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

Inside the Pokemon World Championships, where masters are born

What we learned from this year's baffling SummerSlam event

Football Down Under: Looking back at college football overseas

31 memories from the XXXI Olympiad

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker