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Baylor Football

Abram Smith signs undrafted free agent deal with Saints

April 30, 2022
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The New Orleans Saints signed undrafted free agent Abram Smith moments after the final pick of the NFL Draft was announced.

Although missing out on the opportunity to be a draft pick, Smith will likely earn more as an undrafted free agent than a late-round pick and benefit from picking his newest team and home.

The 6-foot-0, 213-pound running back was one of the more exciting stories in Baylor Football lore. Arriving as a running back from Abilene had turned into a linebacker before David Wetzel suggested him to new OC Jeff Grimes, who was having trouble finding the correct type of runner for his new offense.

Smith broke the Baylor single-season rushing record in 2021 with 1,601 yards and a team-leading 12 touchdowns, including nine 100-yard games, and caught 13 passes for 75 yards. Then, capping off a long, winding career in style, rushing for 172 yards in the Sugar Bowl win over Ole Miss.

Accolades included an All-Big 12 second-team selection and Honorable Mention for the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Smith was part of a strong contingent of Baylor reps at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

And he was arguably the most impressive back at the all-star showcase, running for 48 yards and catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from new Steelers QB Kenny Pickett.

An NFL Combine invite followed, but Smith held off on working out, only going through medicals and interviews.

Building off his showing in the Senior Bowl and ready to perform, he took part in Baylor’s Pro Day, recording solid numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.54), broad jump (116”), and vertical jump (36.00”).

Smith now returns to The Big Easy, where locals last saw him run wild on an SEC defense in the Superdome.

Lance Zierlein, a draft analyst for NFL.com, had this to say about Smith: “Big, tough prospect who went from running back to linebacker and then back to running back during his collegiate career. Smith proved a formidable fit in Baylor's zone scheme with a patient but decisive approach and a natural feel for cutback lanes. He became more comfortable in stretch plays as the season wore on, but his average burst and linear running style make it easier for linebackers to find him. He has adequate contact balance and gives as good as he gets as a run finisher. Smith's lack of short-area creativity could make him zone-dependent, but he's a natural in that scheme. He has the upside to become a committee back with three-down potential.”

Discussion from...

Abram Smith signs undrafted free agent deal with Saints

4,290 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Dia del DougO
Sachimo
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That's great! I felt bad for Smith when he went undrafted, he was such a big part of our last season. Glad to hear he's going to get his shot!
jdkingbear
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Who DAT! Great for Abram. Welcome to the Saints. Make the team and show the NFL just how wrong they were in not drafting him. The Saints saw the talent. Smith was a big reason why Baylor won the Big 12 and the Sugar Bowl.
jdkingbear
Waco1947
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"Smith's lack of short-area creativity" what's that?
Waco1947
Dia del DougO
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FWIW, Abram was the highest rated prospect on the NFL.com board that went undrafted.
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