"You know, I watched that draft and I watched Aaron go through that,'' Smith said. "It's kind of ironic to see that and then you're put in that position.
"It was a test of patience. And I'm a patient guy. All of those guys who got picked ahead of me are deserving, so there's no bitterness toward them or any of those teams. I'm just ready to get in and play football again.''
There are always up sides to what Smith went through. Yes, he probably lost as much as $10 million on his initial NFL contract. And yes, there's the pride element involved.
But think about it. Had Smith gone somewhere in the first round, he would certainly have been expected to step in and play right away. Second-round guys have a little bit of leeway in that regard as far as expectations are concerned, although his New York destination pretty much wipes that out. Expectations and pressure are always high there.
There's also the motivation factor. Although Smith denies it, there has to be a part of him that says, "I'll show you.''
"I'm not going to sit here and say it's something I'm going to use as fuel or extra motivation,'' Smith said. "I'm already motivated. Just being in this position is a blessing for me. So I'm just going to smile as much as I can but remember all the things that happened.''
All things considered, maybe things couldn't have worked out much better.
"You know what? Like I said all along, whichever team decided to take me and decided to bring me in maybe as a franchise guy or maybe as a project, you never know how the situation may end,'' Smith said. "But to be a Jet is a dream come true for me. I've been watching football my entire life and the Jets have one of the most storied organizations in the NFL. So I'm just elated and ready to get to work.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.