2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Cam Smith





  • Cam Smith, 6-0/188

  • Cornerback

  • South Carolina


  • Cam Smith Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

    Strengths:
  • Excellent press man
  • Good length; long arms
  • Very good ball reaction
  • Strong finisher
  • Instinctive
  • Able to battle big receivers
  • Doesn’t panic when the ball is thrown at him
  • Very good ball skills
  • Impressive hands
  • Plays the ball
  • Good tackler
  • Willing run defender
  • Supports run defense




  • Weaknesses:
  • Grabs a lot
  • Could get lots of penalties
  • Lacks twitch
  • Lacks short-area quickness
  • Lacks explosion


  • Summary: Under former head coach Will Muschamp, South Carolina recruited and developed the cornerback position really well, and Smith will carry on the program’s recent tradition of a good cornerback prospects for the next level. With Jaycee Horn in the NFL in 2021, Smith took over as the No. 1 corner for the Gamecocks and broke out with 41 tackles, three interceptions and 11 passes broken up. Smith then played really well in 2022, recording 27 tackles, an interception and five pass breakups.

    For the NFL, Smith is a press-man corner who can play on the outside and line up against big receivers. Smith has very good ball skills, enough height and length, plus he tackles well. He is a gritty defender who uses instincts to be around the ball and can be very disruptive – see the 2022 Tennessee game. Smith tracks the ball well and shows a nice ability to play the football. While Smith lacks twitch and explosion, he has long arms and is a perfect fit for press-man corner.



    The big issue with Smith has is that he grabs too much, and until he fixes the problem, he could be flagged often in the NFL. There is no doubt that Smith should be protected from playing zone as a pro. He lacks the twitch and short-area burst that are necessary to be a good zone cornerback.

    Infinitely more important than my opinion, or anybody else in the media, is the opinion of team evaluators. Here is how one area scout summarized Smith, “He’s a good player but lacks twitch and explosion. He grabs too much. He’s a man corner; the lack of twitch makes him a bad fit in zone. He’s really good in press man. His instincts and ball skills are pretty good.”

    Smith might sneak into the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, but he probably won’t go lower than Round 2.



    Player Comparison: A.J. Bouye. Smith is reminiscent of Bouye. Both have toughness, instincts, good size, and a gritty style of play. Bouye (6-0, 191) had issues with grabbing too much, but once Smith improved on that weakness, he became a very good starter for a few seasons.






    RELATED LINKS:


    2023 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie’s | Walt’s


    2023 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings


    2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports








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