Despite his good work over the last few seasons with the Washington Football Team, Kyle Smith is reportedly out.
According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Washington is moving on from Smith and is making “significant changes to its college scouting staff.” This comes in the wake of the team’s decision to hire Martin Mayhew as their new General Manager with Marty Hurney coming aboard in Smith’s role as an Executive Vice President of Player Personnel.
Smith has been with Washington since 2011 and has climbed the ladder with the team. He began his career as a scout and eventually was named Director of College Personnel in 2017. Last year, he received a promotion to the Vice President of Player Personnel spot, and many fans had hoped that he would emerge as a candidate to be the team’s next GM.
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Over the last four seasons, Smith has done a great job of finding gems in the draft and improving Washington’s base of young talent. The likes of Chase Roullier, Tim Settle, Terry McLaurin, Cole Holcomb, Antonio Gibson, and Kamren Curl have all emerged as key players for Washington and they were all selected in the third round or later by Washington.
Of course, there have been some misses in that span too. Ryan Anderson, Derrius Guice, Geron Christian, Troy Apke, and Bryce Love have all failed to live up to expectations despite being picked in the first half of the draft. Generally speaking though, Smith’s track record in the draft has been better than average.
Smith also was reportedly not on board with the Dwayne Haskins pick and that proved to be right. He couldn’t overturn the will of Daniel Snyder, but had he been able to select the players he wanted there, his draft record may have been even better.
Smith, 36, surely has a bright future, but it appears that won’t be with the Washington Football Team. It’s unfortunate that the team may be letting another talented, young leader leave if this report does, indeed, come to fruition, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the front office will be inept.
Mayhew has proven to be a solid talent evaluator during his career and if he builds his staff well, the team can still continue to unearth gems. Hurney’s presence may make fans uneasy given his lackluster performance as the Panthers GM in recent years, but he has generally drafted well in the first round, so at least he’ll be able to help in that regard. And if the team can rely on other scouts to strengthen their later-round performance, they can continue to build upon their strong foundation.
We’ll soon see if Smith is actually out as the buzz is suggesting. Losing Smith certainly wouldn’t be ideal. Ron Rivera will still have a chance to make this front office arrangement work, but the pressure will be ratcheted up as they attack the draft in this critical offseason for a team on the edge of being a contender.