Has good speed and size. Has nice hips and good burst out of his breaks. Has a nice backpedal and plays with good balance to break on the ball. Has nice ball skills and tracks the deep ball well. Locates the ball on the fade route in the endzone. Can be physical at times in run support with good burst to the ball. Wraps up on the edge and can make stop at the point of attack. Can make stops in space and pursuit. Keeps things in front of him and takes good angles to the ball on the underneath catch. Can play in either off or press coverage.
At times his burst can be limited out of his breaks. Will give up too much cushion at times. Doesn't reliably get the jam in press coverage. Can get beat on the deep throw or the double move. Doesn't have the ball skills or playmaking instincts to make a ton of plays. Will whiff on tackles in the open field at times.
Smith has the size, speed, and athletic tools to be a good cover man at the next level. He needs to be a bit more consistent, but has the tools to match up with the top receivers and compete as a No. 1 corner. He's been flagged for character issues as he had one positive drug test at Colorado and also has been labeled excessively cocky. A full-time starter as a junior and senior, combining for 140 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 picks, and 15 pass breakups.
I'm not completely aware of the character/off-field issues that some have raised since the end of the season, and it certainly doesn't seem reflected in his play on the field. I don't see a lack of effort or anything, so I'm not personally overly concerned with them. I guess the drug issues do give me pause because it seems like he could be one of those guys that could get into some DUI issues or whatever in the off-season. But as far as his on-field play, he should develop into a capable starter. How good a corner he eventually becomes I'm not sure about, but I do think he'll at least be a good No. 2 corner if not potentially an above average to good No. 1 corner because of his physical tools. He's not going to be a shutdown guy, but a guy that down the road you can trust to go up against top receivers and be able to contain them somewhat. He should be able to contribute fairly quickly in a nickel role and as he adds experience, if he can become a bit more polished and disciplined, he should be able to take the next step up as a starter by his second or third year. If he continues to develop discipline and polish, then he should be able to improve to being a No. 1 corner. But I don't think he's going to be the caliber of playmaker that most teams prefer to have in a No. 1 corner. He's a guy that can be like Dunta Robinson that can cover guys, but isn't going to make a ton of interceptions or break up a lot of passes.
Smith can upgrade the Falcons nickel corner because of his size and speed should make him a better matchup there than Chris Owens. He's probably not a guy that would be great as a slot corner, and would be better on the outside, but he has the tools to be at least above average as a rookie nickel corner. In time, he can develop and push for time as a starter as an eventual replacement to either Robinson or Grimes. His ability to play in either press or off coverage means that he can work as a complement to either starter. Not sure if the character red flags would scare off the Falcons.
Smith has first round ability as a corner, although if the off-field and character concerns are indeed serious, then he might be a better value in the first half of the second round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 3.5
Zone Coverage: 3.0
Ball Skills: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.