3. Anthony Smith, S Syracuse 5-11, 195 (4.55)
NFL Comparison - Madieu Williams, Cincinnati
Extremely instinctive and is aware of all his surroundings. Started as a sophomore for the Orangemen and received plenty of playing time as a true freshman. Has good range and speed, but isn’t a burner. Gets to the ball by being aware of where it’s going before anyone else does. Isn’t a huge hitter, but is reliable and makes plays all over the field. Is extremely passionate and is a natural leader. Very tough; hasn’t missed a game.
Against the Pass -
Doesn’t have elite speed or athleticism, but his instincts make up for it. Much better suited for zone coverage because he lacks premier man-to-man skills. Highpoints the ball and has decent ball skills (five interceptions in 2003 and six in 2005).
Against the Run -
Fills holes, but isn’t a sledgehammer that destroys the ballcarrier. Tackles well and takes good angles to the ball. Can make plays in the box and can blitz.
Roster Impact for Seattle -
Smith fits better as a SS than a FS, so his role with Seattle would be undefined because Michael Boulware is entrenched there for the Hawks. However, Smith is definitely a Ruskell-type football player and would be a great backup at either position. His ability, passion and desire to win make him an ideal candidate.
Final Analysis -
Smith is earning third grades from most scouts, but I have him as a second round player. He’s the definition of a football player and has the potential to be a very good NFL safety despite his lack of elite athleticism. He’s going to be a great player for some lucky team.
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