Mr. Smith Goes to Denver

What is it that Josh McDaniels sees in Kolby Smith. He never carried the full load in college. He is 25 and has shown marginal ability with his career 3.3 YPC average. To me, Smith draws a comparison to "Bad Luck Schlep Rock" in the injury department. 

Kolby has been in 11 games the last two years because of leg injuries. His yards-per-carry average has dropped from 3.6 to a paltry 2.66 in those 11 contests.

Smith has the will and a strong work ethic according to Chiefs Head Coach Todd Haley, but dealing with an assortment of knee and ankle injuries in his three-year career has left him as the odd man out in Kansas City.

He came off major knee surgery in November and didn't last a month. His season ended December 6th, as he was placed on Injured Reserve due to an ankle injury.

Kolby is not elusive, and doesn't cause anyone to miss tackles. In my opinion, the Broncos are better off giving one of the young kids with fresher legs a chance going forward. I see this as Josh McDaniels doing his homework just like the Brian Westbrook visit. The only difference being, Westbrook was not subject to the Waiver Wire.

A knee injury sidelined Mr. Smith at Louisville (10/2005) and the injury bug followed him to the NFL. He wasn't going to make the roster in Kansas City with the acquisitions of Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster to back up Jamaal Charles. They also have Jackie Battle, Kestahn Moore, and Javarris Williams, who replaced Smith last season, competing for playing time.

Kolby is a cutback runner by
his own admission:

"I don’t cut it back automatically, but if the lane is there I take it."

He does have experience as a blocker though. In his first two years at Louisville he started at fullback.

On his blocking:

"I’m not the best blocker; I feel that is a faze of the game that all running backs can work on. For the most part, though, I feel that I am a good blocker."

Here's one thing Josh McDaniels has to like. He garnered the respect of his former Head Coach Todd Haley:

"He’s worked really hard. Kolby Smith is the type of guy who could surprise you."

At the 2006 Senior Bowl, Smith was not able to impress scouts, instead "looking like an ordinary ball carrier" He was selected in the fifth round (148th overall) in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was signed to a three-year contract on June 22, 2007.

Pre-draft measureables                  
Height Wt 40Time 10-yd split 20-yd split 20yd Shuttle 3-cone Vert Broad Bench
5' 11" 220 4.5 1.53 2.59 4.34 7.22 37" 9' 6" 18 Reps

All values from NFL Combine


Labeled a hard worker with decent size. Kolby has good vision, hits the hole quickly and delivers a pop bigger than you would expect for a 214-pounder. He has ok hands, shows good moves in the open field, and is a Willing blocker.


Lacks an elite physical characteristic. Doesn't have breakaway speed. Has really only been featured for a year, and durability has not yet been proven. Will not be an inside runner at the next level, and lacks speed to threaten the corners.

From Arrowheadlines yesterday morning:

On November 2, at Arrowhead Stadium he was off to a big day against Tampa Bay, running 10 times for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Then came that instant, that moment every player dreads; Smith took a handoff and went right, moved back inside and planted his right leg to cut left. That’s when a Tampa Bay defensive back slammed into his right knee, leaving Smith in a crumpled heap on the field.

On Monday, some 20 months later, Smith was still feeling that blow. He was released by the Chiefs, one of six players that were cut loose as the team tidies up its roster for draft choice signings and a football vacation until the start of training camp.

Anybody that knows Kolby Smith, or saw how hard he worked to come back from his torn patellar tendon, is feeling pretty sad today. Smith was one of the good guys in the Chiefs locker room. He’s a pro, a man who does what he’s asked to do on the football field and in preparation off the field, and then he does more. The fact that he came back from that patellar tendon injury was an achievement; some players have seen their careers derailed by a torn patellar.


Kolby Smith doesn't have enough shake to evade tacklers and really doesn't fit here. The media is speculating the he is battling another injury-prone back, J.J. Arrington, for the third running back spot. I think he is Training Camp fodder at best and one of the kids will beat him out for a roster spot.

Go Broncos!

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