Alex Smith
Should Alex Smith be considered a bust? Smith should thank his lucky stars Jim Harbaugh and Andy Reid saved his career. (John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

Should Alex Smith Be Considered A Bust?

Today, Alex Smith officially retired from the NFL. Smith will ride off into the sunset and pursue whatever he is passionate about outside of football. How should Smith actually be remembered? That is a different question worth examining.

Smith, the former number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, obviously never lived up to that billing. Worse yet, San Francisco passed on Aaron Rodgers to take the Utah signal caller. YIKES. Because of a magical collegiate run with Urban Meyer, Smith went way higher than he otherwise should have. Frankly, the 2005 NFL Draft was littered with busts everywhere. Dan Orlovsky was the only other notable quarterback in that draft it’s not because of anything he did on the field.

Smith was labeled a bust early in his career and was dangerously close to be out of the league. The truth of the matter is, Smith should still probably still be remembered as a bust. Coaching is what saved Smith’s career. Otherwise, there’s a pretty good chance he would have been cast out of the league in five years.

Alex Smith
(Herd Image)

Smith wasn’t just bad during the early stages of his career. The man was unplayable bad. Can you imagine how the media would react today if a number one overall pick three years into his career completed 48% of his throws in seven games? Sorry, not sorry, that’s bust material. That’s what Smith did in 2007. He would be out of the league today with the impatience we have with the quarterback position.

Jim Harbaugh and Andy Reid saved his career. Say what you want about Harbaugh with Michigan, he’s a really good coach. So good that he was able to con everyone into thinking Colin Kaepernick had talent. News flash: he didn’t. Andy Reid is arguably the best offensive coach in NFL history. None of his quarterbacks outright fail.

The numbers don’t lie. Without Harbaugh and Reid, Smith would be labeled an outright disaster. Those two coaches helped Smith at minimum hang around the league and earn the mantra as this game manager that won football games. You can’t take that away from Smith who posts a 99-67-1 record.

Alex Smith should be celebrated the way he came back from that gruesome injury. In terms of on the field performance, there’s no question Alex Smith was a bust and didn’t come close to matching the expectations of a former number one pick. He should send thank you cards to Harbaugh and Reid every day for letting him have at least a respectable career in the league.