clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Devin Smith 2015 NFL Draft Scouting Report; How Much Would He Help the Titans?

New, comments

Smith is viewed as a burner, but is he just a one trick pony?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Position

Wide Receiver

School

Ohio State

Size

6'0, 196 pounds

Strengths

Devin Smith is a burner that can blow the top off of a defense.  He isn't physically imposing, but he was too fast for defenders in college.  Smith shows good hands and great ball skills, especially when working down the field.  His ability to track the ball is special.  He can look back, find the ball and adjust to it smoothly.

The team that takes Smith will be taking him for his game-breaking speed.  Smith gets on defenders in a hurry and has that fifth gear to grab if he needs it.  Watch him run this seam post.  Smith is being manned up by the safety on the right side and has the other safety dropping deep to help.  Smith runs by both of them, putting a three step gap on them by the time he makes the catch in the endzone.

I mentioned Smith's ability to track the football and adjust to it earlier, now here's an example.  Smith gets outside of the corner dropping into the deep zone, then looks back for the ball.  Once he finds the ball, Smith is in perfect position to shield the defender, which he does perfectly.  He looks the ball right over his shoulder, hauling it in just before he ducks out of bounds.  This is an art that most NFL receivers haven't mastered.

Smith's athletic ability makes his a good route runner.  He can stop and start quickly and cut on a dime.  He has the most value running go routes, but don't sleep on him as an underneath guy either.  He can turn a routine five yard catch into something bigger because of his burst and acceleration.

Weaknesses

Smith has a slender frame and isn't going to get physical with defenders consistently.  He struggles through contact and traffic.  His concentration could stand to get better.  Smith had a couple of drops that I saw where he was already looking up field instead of focusing on catching the ball first.

Summary

Smith is going to make his money in the NFL as a straight line speedster.  He's a deep threat that will need to be accounted for at all times.  He has a little bit of room to grow as a route runner and can clean up some drops, but overall Smith is a well rounded receiver that could develop into a number one guy on an NFL roster.  Think Mike Wallace without the attitude issues.

Draft Projection

Late 1st - early 2nd