Photo of Alphonso Smith
Grade
?
  • 4.51 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 13 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 34.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 125.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.09 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.38 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 5'9" Height
  • 193LBS. Weight

Overview

While Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins deserves the recognition he has received as the top senior cornerback in the country, Smith might just be the most underrated. What Smith lacks in size, he more than makes up for in pure athleticism, demonstrating the quick feet and straight-line speed to cover any receiver in the country.

Just as important, Smith is fearless on the field, routinely coming up to support the run. A natural playmaker, Smith left Wake Forest as the ACC's career leader with 21 interceptions. This penchant for the big play translated onto the practice field at the Senior Bowl, where Smith intercepted passes in front of hundreds of scouts on each of the first three days of work.

As dynamic a playmaker as Smith is, however, the reality is there are very few 5-foot-9 cornerbacks starting in the NFL. Smith's small stature could push him far enough down the board to the point where he is ultimately a steal.

Analysis

Strengths

Positives: Excellent ball skills, closing on the ball quickly and watching it into his hands. Can adjust to ball over his shoulder. Able to return interceptions for significant yardage. Very good speed to stay with receivers down the sideline, along with fluid hips and excellent quickness to handle short-area responsibilities. Reads the quarterback well, and can undercut throws to make a play. Very confident on an island, and won't back down even if giving up size to his opponent. Able to get position on receivers in order to cut off routes. Not shy about contact, and will attempt to wrap tackle in the open or cut if needed. Can close down the sideline on outside runs. Tries to strip the ball when part of a gang tackle. Got touches as a receiver on quick screens, and could be a return option. Negatives: Short with only an adequate build and strength. Gives up several inches in height to outside receivers who can take advantage of him in jump balls down the sideline and red-zone situations. Can get vertical quickly, but isn't strong enough to out-fight bigger receivers for the ball. Struggles to get off decent receiver run blocks in space. Not a great one-on-one open-field tackler. Best as a zone corner or in the slot, as he may have problems jamming physical receivers at the line of scrimmage.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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