One draft prospect who could interest the Denver Broncos in the 2023 NFL Draft is South Carolina’s Cam Smith - if he is still on the board when Denver is on the clock.
Smith, a cornerback that could be a great fit for Vance Joseph’s traditional aggressive man scheme, is good at getting his hands on passes. In fact, he did it more frequently than any other cornerback in this class.
Calling Smith “instinctive and versatile,” Pro Football Focus reports that of Smith’s 70 targets his past two seasons, he broke up 15 and intercepted four.
Cam Smith #9 CB South Carolina is a very good reactive athlete, anticipatory reading routes, and has good hip flip ability to break in and out with receivers. A really good Day 2 option that can start right away as a CB2 in a defense pic.twitter.com/K0Zk3XMDme— Daniel Harms (@InHarmsWay19) April 13, 2023
Weight: 180 pounds
40-time: 4.43 seconds
Arm Length: 31 5/8”
Hands: 9 1/8”
Vertical Jump: 38 inches
Broad Jump: 11’2”
10-yard split: 1.49 seconds
Scouting Report (via NFL.com)
- Plays with anticipation from off coverage.
- Rock solid on-ball production during his career.
- Reads QB and WR concurrently to jump the throw.
- Springing plant-and-trigger steps from his pedal.
- Maintains feel for route direction when in phase.
- Uses length and timing to alter catch success from trail position.
- Attacks ball, not man, with downhill angles on the throw.
- Excellent job of limiting YAC for WR Jalin Hyatt in win over Tennessee.
- Sticky feet rarely match press releases cleanly.
- Sluggish lateral transitions open door for separation.
- Takes foot off the gas when turning to locate the football.
- Long speed looks to be average.
- Drew 10 penalty flags in 2022, per PFF.
- Defaults to grabbing instead of using proper footwork.
- Run support didn’t appear to be a high priority.
Cam Smith RAS
Cam Smith RAS so far.https://t.co/qoQqlPcXyd #RAS pic.twitter.com/tgwQUMLmtT— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2023
What other analysts are saying about South Carolina cornerback Cam Smith:
The Gamecock corner is consistently ranked in the top 10 of all cornerbacks in this 2023 draft class, and many analysts put him as a late first round/second round choice.
Dane Brugler, who ranks Smith as his 10th-best corner and No. 66 player overall, has the South Carolina prospect going in the second or third round - which is a good spot for the Broncos who could use some depth at corner.
According to Brugler, Smith’s strengths include his explosive speed, which he uses to his advantage, making great plays on the ball. His weaknesses include a lack of good technique with his feet and hands, particularly in pressman coverage.
“With his natural reflexes and coverage IQ, Smith doesn’t overthink what he sees and trusts his reaction to movement, displaying outstanding closing burst to the football. Though he has the movement skills to answer skilled route runners, he must learn how to be more subtle in coverage to avoid becoming a flag magnet for NFL officials. Overall, wild tendencies and unrefined technique are the concerns, but Smith has all the talent necessary to be a longtime NFL starter if he makes the necessary adjustments. He can work either inside or outside and will fit best in a zone-heavy scheme. ... He’s confident, brash and plays with a swagger.”
If the long outside cornerback with instinctive vision and good ball skills can last until the third round, the Broncos could snag some good depth at an important position in Vance Joseph’s defense.