Alex Smith was the No. 1 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL draft. With that selection came huge expectations that Smith has been unable to meet. Simply put, Smith has never measured up to his high draft status and has been a big disappointment.
Following the 2010 season, the odds for Smith returning to the 49ers were astronomical. The 49ers’ management didn’t want him back, Smith had no desire to continue playing in San Francisco and the fans despised him. Somehow, when team owner Jed York and GM Trent Baalke brought Jim Harbaugh aboard as the new head coach, the thick block of ice between the team and Smith melted.
Although Smith is not officially a 49er due to the lockout, it is a virtual certainty that when the labor impasse ends, he will be signed and start the year as Jim Harbaugh’s quarterback. Harbaugh has frequently praised Smith and even given him a copy of the playbook, even though he was unsigned.