Patrick Smith has two gold buckles to his name and, this year, he heeled behind 2020 World Standings leader Luke Brown all year. Always full of insight, Smith shares his early thoughts on the field. 

Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan

Round 1: 5.2 seconds

Round Winnings: 6,769.23 points each

Total NFR Earnings: 6,769.23 points each

World Standings Earnings: $63,914.15

World Standings: 10, 11

Smith's Take: I think that they’re definitely a sleeper team. Brenten does such a great job in these setups and he’s so good at setting these steers up. This week, it’s a header’s game of setting the run up. They’re out there so far. It’s going to be hard for a heeler if stuff gets going really fast. Chase has been roping great, and Brenten is one of the best right now at setting the run up.

Kolton Schmidt and Hunter Koch

Round 1: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $61,021.85 each

World Standings: 15

Smith's Take: What happened with Kolton is one of the downfalls of this arena setup with no left wall. The NFR is the NFR is because of how tough it is. That’s a difficult shot for those guys last night, but I see that playing into the game this week—the steers wanting to go left.

Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves

Round 1: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $75,508.64; $66,159.04

World Standings: 6, 9

Smith's Take: That steer stepped off to the right. When you get that much room out there, there’s a lot more room both directions and it’s going to be really critical to try to keep things in the middle, which is way easier said than done. When the steer gets to the right, it’s hard for the header to set them up and hard for the heeler to not get in a bad spot. Those guys can be deadly fast, though. 

Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins

Round 1: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $73,872.30 each

World Standings: 7, 5

Smith's Take: Andrew, this year, has really impressed me. There’s not a more positive human being in that arena than Andrew Ward. They’ll have good attitudes and do good all week. They’ve been one of the most consistent teams to watch all year.

Nelson Wyatt and Levi Lord

Round 1: 6.8 seconds

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $60,691.54, $61,890.04

World Standings: 13

Smith's Take: Both rookie guys to the NFR, but super impressive this year. I watched them be 3 all year. That was their average run. Both, when they get tapped off, can be extremely fast, and Nelson is riding a great horse. They got their first one out of the way.

Clay Tryan and Jake Long

Round 1: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $67,629.29, $73,227.15

World Standings: 8, 6

Smith's Take: It was a great spin. It’s so far out there for a heeler. You don’t want to haze the steer to the left, and it’s tough to stay back and not over-haze and be there on time. Both are veterans and will recover.

Charly Crawford and Logan Medlin

Round 1: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $67,629.29, $64,620.84

World Standings: 9, 10

Smith's Take: Charly is one of the most consistent in the game, and Logan has heeled great all year. That steer didn’t take it good last night and was a really tough shot for Logan. They’ll be a good team for the average in the long run.

Chad Masters and Wesley Thorp

Round 1: NT

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $62,682.49

World Standings: 11, 12

Smith's Take: Honestly, that was just bad luck. Chad’s loop curled the knee on the steer and a lot of people didn’t recognize that. That caused the delay in coming tight and popped off. Wesley, he’s just a winner, and Chad’s on a great horse. They had a lot of momentum and will have a good week also. Just a little tough luck. It’s a game of inches.

Jeff Flenniken and Tyler Worley

Round 1: 6.7 seconds

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $59,391.34, $61,137.68

World Standings: 15, 14

Smith's Take: Both super talented guys. [Tyler's] an explosive heeler and not scared to crawl around and heel one as fast as he can. Jeff is super talented with a rope and, watching him work his way up, him and his dad have been super impressive when it comes to how they handle a rope. I can see them doing good this week and congratulations to them both for being in this field.

Levi Simpson and Shay Carroll

Round 1: 6.1 seconds

Round Winnings: --

Total NFR Earnings: --

World Standings Earnings: $60,397.65, $66,267.31

World Standings: 14, 8

Smith's Take: They had a tough steer last night. Levi is another header to watch for this week. He’s really good and has a lot of long game and is good about being consistent. He’s not going to take crazy shots and he’ll turn a majority of the steers. Shay has been heeling good all year.

Cody Snow and Junior Nogueira

Round 1: 5.7 seconds

Round Winnings: 4,230.77 each

Total NFR Earnings: 4,230.77 each

World Standings Earnings: $83,458.83, $72,314.74

World Standings: 5, 7

Smith's Take: One of my picks for the big winners of the week. I just think their styles fit really well. Everybody ropes amazing, but you just have some magic and those guys have a really good run put together. They can be as fast as they need to be or catch all 10.

Clay Smith and Jade Corkill

Round 1: 5.1 seconds 

Round Winnings: 11,000.00 each

Total NFR Earnings: 11,000.00 each

World Standings Earnings: $90,703.55 each

World Standings: 3, 2

Smith's Take: Who can bet against them? Nobody. Clay Smith has been the best in the game for a while, no use trying to explain that. I think the Vegas odds betting he didn’t turn all 10 would be slim to none. That goes for both of them. Clay's one of the best ever at reacting to the situation, and the same goes for Jade. They’re the team when they need to catch every time they’ve proven they could do that. I think it will still come down to a race at the top, but it’s hard to bet against them, especially Clay Smith on his world championship run.

Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves

Round 1: 4.9 seconds

Round Winnings: 18,192.31 each

Total NFR Earnings: 18,192.31 each

World Standings Earnings: $90,703.55 each

World Standings: 3, 2

Smith's Take: Dustin made that shot look so easy last night. TG is one of the most consistent guys ever. If Dustin can keep that up, those guys have a real shot at winning it all, too. As far as he reached, Dustin made that look like a day off.

Erich Rogers and Paden Bray

Round 1: 4.8 seconds

Round Winnings: 26,230.77 each

Total NFR Earnings: 26,230.77 each

World Standings Earnings: $88,772.34

World Standings: 4,3

Smith's Take: Paden’s roped great all year. He’s a winner. It obviously didn’t bother him being a first-timer there. He was aggressive and pulled off a shot. Rogers is a veteran and understands how important it will be to set the run up. I do believe it’s a header's game this week and they can make or break you with this set up. They can make it tough or simple how they ride their horses on these stronger steers. Rogers is really good at doing that. He doesn’t get a lot of rope out, he’s good at getting stuff good and tight and getting those starts.

Luke Brown and Joseph Harrison

Round 1: 4.9 seconds

Round Winnings: 18,192.31 each

Total NFR Earnings: 18,192.31 each

World Standings Earnings: $117,857.28, $98,491.31

World Standings: 1

Smith's Take: Luke jumped on his trusty Cowboy. When he gets on that horse his confidence soars. He’s one of the most consistent in the game. That team paired up is a good combo. Luke can be fast but he knows they pay more than one money and he’s all about the big check at the end. He’s had the lead all year, and I think he’s got one thing in mind and that’s turn all 10 of these steers. Joseph will ride around there and tee off on them. As good as he’s roping it’s fun watching.

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