Smoker back on track
Mel Kiper Jr. takes draft-related questions on Jeff Smoker, Philip Rivers, Bradlee Van Pelt and more.
Q: After watching Michigan State QB Jeff Smoker play extremely well the past few weeks, do you think he will be a high draft pick or will his off-the-field problems scare pro teams away? I think that he has all the tools to be a good QB in the NFL.
KIPER -- It looks like Smoker has gotten back on track, and first-year Spartans coach John L. Smith has handled this situation perfectly. He gave Smoker a chance to put his his life back together after the substance-abuse problems that precipitated his suspension last year. After Smoker's suspension, the Spartans -- who started 2-0 and were ranked 15th -- went 2-8 (finishing the season at 4-8).
Smith made Smoker work hard to regain his starting job, and Smoker has benefited as a person and a football player. The 6-3, 224-pound QB has emerged as a legitimate Heisman candidate and NFL prospect. Smoker could be an intriguing second-day draft choice (in rounds 4-7).
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