Smith arrived in Adelaide from the Eyre Peninsula and after playing under-age football, broke into the Port Adelaide seniors in 1984. He topped Port's goal-kicking in 1986 and 1987, with 49 and 71 goals respectively, ending the sequence of nine leading goal-kicker awards from Tim Evans. Essendon acquired the centre half forward's services when they picked him up with pick 11 in the 1989 VFL Draft but the move didn't work out and he resumed at Port Adelaide.
When Adelaide entered the AFL in 1991, Smith was one of their local recruits and he performed well in their inaugural with two goals and ten marks against Hawthorn. Two rounds later he played his best game for Adelaide when he had 24 disposals and kicked four goals and five behinds in a win over Sydney at the SCG, with his fellow Port Adelaide key forward Scott Hodges bagging six of his own.
He soon lost his place in the team and spent most of the remainder of the season as well as the next, in the SANFL before being delisted. By the time he retired, after the 1996 SANFL Grand Final win, Smith had appeared in seven premiership teams with Port Adelaide, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996. He had also joined Russell Ebert and Greg Phillips as the only Port players to appear in 300 SANFL games.