NAME: Cameron Smith
JERSEY: No. 35
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 250 lbs
PROS: Unbelievably quick to react; super instinctive. First step is almost always true. Regularly beats climbers to their landmarks on zone flow; shoots gaps the moment they appear and lives in the backfield as a disruptor and gap plugger. Makes TFLs solely based on sniffing out the play call before the snap. Slippery when shooting gaps with the ability to get skinny, then reset his hips as he clears the OL. Excels as a pursuit player at sifting through the garbage around him, constantly resetting his angles as the halfback moves.
At his best when asked to flow downhill into space–almost impossible to fool regarding who has the football and where they’re going, especially when there isn’t much traffic in front of him. Solid short area burst and nice length and size allow him to make difficult tackles away from his frame; can drop his hips and deliver a thud when he has a runner squared up. Has good pursuit speed and always keeps strong leverage on runners relative to sideline. Sees pullers and climbers quickly and will meet them in the trees with physicality. Can carry some TEs downfield in man coverage.
CONS: Guilty of over-reacting to initial offensive action and thereby overpursuing. While highly instinctive reading and flowing downhill, has some trouble interpreting who’s climbing/what the backfield motion is, and can get impatient and remove himself from contention within the play. Especially noteworthy on boundary plays with multiple pullers/jet motion/et cetera–jumps at shadows. Will choose to scrape when he should have gone underneath, and vice versa. Doesn’t get low into blockers when exchanging power and thereby limits his displacement ability–that, and better recruitment of hands, will help him translate large and strong frame into better disruptive play within the box. Block deconstruction currently a mixed bag. Short zones are a mess right now–doesn’t gain sufficient depth and will fail to carry players through space.
– Benjamin Solak