Torrey Smith had the two worst seasons in his NFL career during his brief stint with the San Francisco 49ers.
After signing with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, that should change in 2017.
Smith had the best years as a professional with the Baltimore Ravens. However, the former Maryland wideout elected to sign with the Eagles instead of returning closer to home.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 9, 2017
It’s been well-documented that Smith’s time in San Francisco wasn’t even close to what he’s truly capable of. In two seasons, he only hauled in 53 passes for 930 yards and seven touchdowns.
Smith suffered from subpar quarterback play with Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert splitting time under center with the 49ers.
However, that shouldn’t be an issue in Philadelphia.
Prior to the 2016 NFL Draft, the Eagles shipped Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell to the Miami Dolphins for a first round pick. The Eagles then traded that pick to the Cleveland Browns for the No. 2 overall pick, which they used on quarterback Carson Wentz.
Wentz put a solid season as a rookie this past season. The former North Dakota State standout completed 62.4 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,782 yards to go along with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
While that may not seem like a gaudy stat line, the Eagles had one of the worst groups of wide receivers in the NFL. Their leading receiver was tight end Zach Ertz, who had 78 catches for 816 yards and four touchdowns.
Jordan Matthews had 804 receiving yards, but he’s the most effective lining up in the slot. Former first round pick Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham didn’t offer much down the field either.
On Thursday, that’s why Philadelphia went out and signed former Chicago Bears star wideout Alshon Jeffery and Smith.
Jeffery is a big-bodied receiver at 6’3 that can flat-out go get the football. He’ll be a huge threat in the end zone and over the middle.
The former South Carolina star will draw a significant amount of the opposing defense’s attention.
That’s what could lead to Smith shining in the City of Brotherly Love.
With defenses focusing on Jeffery, Smith might draw single coverage and be able to beat teams over the top. Smith has made a living out of running deep routes and hauling in long-touchdown receptions.
In every NFL season, the former Terp has recorded at least one catch over 50 yards. It may remind Eagles fans of the days of DeSean Jackson without the headache.
As you can see in the above clip, one of the biggest strengths for Smith is his ability to get separation. Whether it’s on a short post route or a deep streak, the Virginia native can really get open and make plays.
His speed allows him to do so many different things.
In the above play, Smith runs a deep route down the field, but has to wait for Kaepernick to get the ball there. However, Smith is able to make the catch at the Buffalo 25-yard yard line then use his speed to switch fields and accelerate to the end zone.
Having guys like Jeffery and Matthews take some of the pressure off of Smith will be huge next season. Jeremy Kerley had a nice year for the 49ers in 2016, but he’s not putting any fear into opposing defenses.
Smith should thrive with a young gunslinger in that of Wentz. Wentz proved to have a very strong arm last year and having three talented options will be huge for his development.
After two horrific years in the Bay Area, Smith should bounce back in a big way this season.