Originally posted by 49erLifer:
His biggest strengths are his mobility, his decision making ability and his arm. (He does need to work on his accuracy but as it stands, he is better than average in this department)
His weaknesses largely stem from his lack of success thus far. You can tell he is timid in the pocket and is sometimes unwilling to make the throw down the field that should be made. But with protection and success, these things will change.
I want to go into what I bolded a little more. I know that Smith has been quite hesitant to make some throws, but not only that, it seems that he's still not used to playing from under center, because even as recently as last preseason, Smith fell into his tendancy to roll to the right, whether there is pressure or not (and in 06, he was rather notorious for doing that, and in 1 instance, his rolling to the right CAUSED a sack from Darnell Dockett because Smith [with no backside pressure on the play] ran out of the pocket and outside right tackle (ironically, Harris, who for once managed to do something decent), and basically into Dockett (who then disengaged Harris because Smith was no longer in the pocket behind Harris). Usually, unless you feel backside pressure, you don't want to outright leave the pocket, since you cut down your receiving options in half, or sometimes pretty much to none. That's why Smith has a horrible tendancy to run right only to throw the ball away. It contributed to Smith being horrible sustaining drives on 3rd down in 2006. ( http://www.49erswebzone.com/forum/thread.php?num=118425&start=270
Also, I'm still not so sure that Smith is comfortable in running an NFL offense that has progression reads (under Urban Meyer, Smith ran an offense that more or less had only 1 receiving target, a dump option sometimes, or Smith simply running the ball if his primary isn't open). As of last preseason, Smith was late in locating open receivers downfield (Keena Turner commented on Smith finding Battle open a little too late (safety over the top converged towards Battle and a CB playing zone adjusted to Battle, Battle was wide open underneath coverage before then). So as for his hesitancy weakness you mentioned, I think it may be that coupled with the game not slowing down enough for him, and I don't think that can be pinned down to his OC situation because not everything he has to get hinges on the OC or the system.