Cameron Smith

USC

Prospect Info

College
USC
Hometown
Class
CA
Senior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 2"
238 lbs
32 3/8”
Hands
10 3/8”

Prospect Grade

5.54
Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade

2019 Draft Results

Drafted by
Minnesota
Vikings
Round 5 ‧ Pick 24
Go to Pick
40 Yard Dash
4.69u
Seconds
 
Bench Press
15
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
39.0
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
123.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
--
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.23
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 

Playlist

Smith was expected to be a star for the Trojans after earning High School All-American honors. He actually started building his reputation as a fourth-grader, as he suited up against eighth-graders due to his instincts and toughness. The honors started early in his collegiate career, garnering Freshman All-American and honorable mention All-Pac-12 notice in 2015 (78 tackles, one sack, three interceptions, three pass breakups). The Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year only played in 10 games (nine starts) because he had season-ending surgery on torn knee ligaments. Smith somehow returned for the 2016 season opener, receiving second-team all-conference accolades with 83 tackles, seven for loss, and four pass breakups in 13 starts. He was a first-team All-Pac-12 player in 2017, starting 13 of 14 games played (sat out first half of opener due to targeting call in previous year's bowl game). He led USC with 112 stops, 11 of which went for losses, intercepting one pass, and breaking up three passes. He played in only 10 games in 2018, but still landed second-team all-conference notice by leading the Trojans with 81 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and four pass breakups.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 4-5
NFL Comparison
Blake Martinez
Overview
Inside linebacker whose four-year run can best be described as smart and steady. Smith is lacking the physical traits and athletic ability to excite general managers and his tape is hardly splashy. However, he has a keen sense of play development and uses smart angles and proper technique to do his job effectively. He could hear his name called in the middle rounds, but it won't take long for a coaching staff to look beyond his limitations and see a future starter.
Strengths
  • Extremely reliable and consistent as four-year starter
  • Lost weight in offseason, which helped increase his play quickness
  • Play speed is faster than his timed speed
  • Instinctive with smart eyes for early play recognition
  • Isn't easily fooled by counter steps and false keys
  • Efficient in space and only moves when he means to
  • Can defeat blocks with both shoulder slips and strength
  • Has upper-body strength to punch and press linemen off of him
  • Unfazed by jukes and fakes and is reliable tackler in space
  • Possesses awareness and football IQ to stay on the field on third downs
  • Field vision is clear and well-balanced
  • Responsive to quarterback's eyes and harasses the passing lane from zone
  • Finished career with 14 passes defensed
Weaknesses
  • Build is unimpressive and lacking cut
  • Plays with some tightness in his lowers
  • Not an explosive mover and unlikely to test well at combine
  • Lacks trigger juice to light up stat sheet with tackles for loss
  • Below-average burst from directional change
  • Races ahead of cut-off blocks, exposing him to cutback shots
  • Pedestrian top-end speed with range limitations as tackler
  • Needs to be more decisive or risk falling behind the play in NFL
  • Will struggle to prevent separation against pass-catching backs.
GRADE
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