by Khalil Garriott
WASHINGTON—Torrey Smith is a draft-eligible prospect from the University of Maryland. Many mock drafts project the dynamic wide receiver to be taken in the first round of this month’s NFL Draft. In an exclusive interview with ProPlayerInsiders.com’s Khalil Garriott, Smith discusses his plans for draft week, the importance of all players sticking together and whether the owners’ lockout can be justified.
Why do you think the owners locked out the players?
To my knowledge of the issues, it’s all about money. I am basically judging what I know from what players tell me, since I’m not there, and from what my agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tells me. I’m kind of just taking a backseat and trusting what the NFLPA is doing.
What do you think about the NFLPA’s plan to host alternate draft events in New York that don’t conflict with the actual draft?
I think it’s fine. There are going to be a bunch of guys there—I am actually looking forward to going up myself. I’ll be at the NFLPA’s Saturday night event.
How important do you think it is for all players, not just rising rookies like yourself but also veterans and former players, to stay united right now?
That’s what it’s all about. Football is like a fraternity. We’re brothers; even though we compete against each other on Sundays, everyone is altogether. Everyone needs to stick together to get the job done, and we all have the same common goal in mind. The common goal is playing football.
The NFL has enjoyed unprecedented success. How do you think this lockout by owners can be justified when the sport is at all-time highs in revenue and popularity?
To my knowledge, I don’t know if it can be justified. When they lock us out, they’re taking away from the fans’ experience. I was actually thinking about that the other day. If there’s no football, it doesn’t just affect the players and the owners. It affects those cities, their economies and a bunch of different things that go into it. I am confident the NFLPA and NFL will be able to meet at a common ground in the future.
As a draft prospect who has dreamed your whole life of entering the NFL, how badly do you just want to play football?
That’s what everyone comes to do. It’s been a dream for all of us guys, the rookies, to play on Sundays. You have the opportunity to do it, so hopefully we’ll be there that first Sunday, kicking off. Knock on wood.
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