Love this guy and I think he is the real deal... I have watched him on many occasions and he is one hell of a leader and a competitor. He is very intelligent - has a very high football IQ, he is confident and has a short memory (will keep gunslinging with confidence even if he gets picked off), he is mobile, can escape from pressure. Great leadership skills and he controls the huddle. He can make all the throws contrary to what anyone may say. He is great at selling the playaction. He'll take a sack or throw the ball away if nothing's there. He looks for the best option and rarely makes the wrong pass... there is just so much to love about his game. Whatever offense he comes to learn in the NFL he will know it inside out and play with supreme confidence. I would not be surprised the least bit if this guy pulls a Tom Brady/Trent Green :icon_eek: :yes: ---------- Even though the ink is still fresh on his diploma, Paul Smith is putting his communication and marketing degrees to work. His first project: himself. He has spent the past few months trying to sell himself to NFL types. Even though the quarterback broke all sorts of records during his recently completed career at Tulsa, there are questions about him as a pro prospect. Can he produce against big-time competition? Can he compensate for being 6-foot-1 1/4? Can he make all the throws? Smith mounted a campaign to answer those questions before the NFL Draft. He jetted from one coast to the other, trying to attract attention with his skills and stimulate interest with his intangibles. Hesqueezed in every opportunity to brand himself as an intelligent leader with on-field savvy. His agent even advertised Smith with an eight-page color booklet. Whether by direct marketing or word of mouth, Smith seized every chance to sell himself. "I feel like I've done all I can do to help my stock out,” Smith said. "Anything past what I've done is going to become a negative.” He laughed. "I'm not gonna start calling teams up and asking them where they have me ranked, and that's about the only next step I could do.” Smith knows selling past the close is a no-no, and so far, he feels like his campaign has been almost flawless. So do those advising him. "I knew once he got in front of people,” Smith's agent, Mark Slough, said, "he would sell himself.” Slough knew that the first step to marketing Smith was identifying what need he would fill for NFL teams. He would be a developmental quarterback expected to spend a few years learning the system, standing on the sidelines and running the scout team. Franchises want those types of players to be good team guys, soaking up coaching and staying off police blotters. Where a team might take a draft-day chance on a superstar hothead or troublemaker, they want their late-round picks to be as worry-free as possible. Smith won the Wuerffel Award, which goes annually to the college football player who best combines community service with athletics and academics. Consider it college football's good guy award. And Slough made sure it was part of the pamphlet he produced about Smith. The first few pages highlight Smith's football accomplishments, including the NCAA records he set for 300-yard passing games. The remaining pages are heavy on information about Smith's personality and character. From the "What They're Saying about Paul Smith” page: "I like Paul's style of play. He's a tough kid, takes hits, runs with the ball, does everything you want a quarterback to do. I think an NFL team would be lucky to have him.” That's from former TU quarterback and NFL veteran Gus Frerotte. Slough has received positive feedback from folks around the NFL about the info about Smith, but the response when team personnel have seen him up close has been even better. That's why agent and player packed the schedule with as many events as possible. Smith went to the Hula Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game in back-to-back weeks. He did the NFL Combine. He did Tulsa's pro day. He turned down nothing. "He just needed as much exposure as he could get,” Slough said. "I knew the more exposure that Paul had to the NFL scouts and decision makers, the better he would show.” That sounds like the case. Team Smith has heard largely positive comments from NFL types since the combine. Part of that was due to Smith's performance on the field and in the classroom, but part of it is due to word-of-mouth praise. Smith, for example, built a strong relationship with Dick Vermeil at the East-West Shrine Game. The former NFL coach oversaw the quarterbacks that week, and he invited Smith to ride in the coaches' van instead of the players' bus. "So, of course, I jumped all over that opportunity,” Smith said. He talked football with Vermeil, who also asked about Smith, his wife, his family. A few weeks later at the combine, Smith talked to several folks who'd heard good things about him from Vermeil. "There's no telling who he talked to regarding me,” Smith said. The same goes for Bill Cunerty. The man who wrote a book on the quarterback position and opened a passing school more than two decades ago worked with Smith at the pre-draft mecca Athletes' Performance in Los Angeles. Cunerty spent more than three decades coaching in the junior college ranks in Southern California, so he knows many of the coaches and coordinators who are now in the NFL. Cunerty has told anyone who will listen how much he likes Smith. He likes the way Smith leads, reacts to what's going on in the pocket and moves when plays break down. Cunerty raves, too, about Smith's mechanics. "Paul's motion, I think, is gorgeous,” he said. "He comes over the top. He throws the ball a lot like Joe Montana.” Cunerty has bragged on Smith to his NFL buddies, including Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. "Listen, I don't care how big your playbook is,” Cunerty remembers telling Koetter. "If you give Paul Smith a month with that playbook, he'll know it better than your other two quarterbacks.” Cunerty believes Smith can play in the NFL. Ditto for Slough. Will any of the league's decision makers agree? Only time will tell. The first two rounds of the draft are Saturday, the last five Sunday, and even though this is a time ruled by uncertainty, Smith can be certain that he did everything possible in the months leading up to the draft. "In the 10 years I've been doing this,” Slough said, "that was certainly the most taxing and difficult schedule I've ever come across.” Smith said, "I know word of mouth is a big thing when it comes to the coaching realm. I knew if I could just make an impact on whoever I come in contact with, it might spread. More people might find out about me.” Truth is, only one team has to like him. All it will take is one franchise buying in and drafting him for the marketing blitz to be a success. Smith has done everything possible to sell himself. This weekend, he'll find out if anyone is buying.