That will certainly come as a big surprise to Jets nation, which has endured 28 interceptions and 13 fumbles by Smith in only 22 career starts. The Jets are 1-5, at the bottom of the AFC East standings, and rank dead last in the NFL in passing yards per game. As if his play hasn't already lost him enough good will with the fan base, he drew a $12,000 fine for shouting an expletive at a Jets fan on Sept. 28.
If Ryan wants to credit Idzik with a great pick from the 2013 draft, defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson would be far more befitting of the description. Richardson, drafted with the No. 13 overall pick, was named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year after making 78 tackles last season. A few of the better players chosen in the second round after Smith (No. 39 overall) include Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso (No. 46), Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (No. 48) and Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (No. 61).
Since Ryan can't possibly be referring to Smith's year-plus NFL track record in calling him a great pick, he can only be referring to what he expects from Smith in the future.
If Ryan can picture greatness down the road for Smith, he might be the only one.