Anthony Smith S 6'1 194 Syracuse
By: Robert Davis
Smith has been as sure a thing in the secondary as you can find during his entire career. He had an immediate impact as a freshman, 71 tackles, with 1.5 of them coming for loss. He added a playmaking element as a sophomore, racking up 106 tackles and five picks on the year. Smith earned All Big East 2nd team honors as a junior after an 85 tackle, three interception season. He finished his career on the Big East's 1st team, posting 71 tackles, five for loss, three sacks, and a career high six interceptions.
Anthony Smith is an aggressive, instinctive safety. He reads and reacts very quickly, and knows where the action is going to go. He is willing to attack the line and be a force in the running game. Smith also shows the awareness in coverage, and has the ability to make the big play when matched up down the field. He has a ton of experience; he was a four year starter in the Big East. Smith may bring the versatility to play both free and strong safety, along with being a special teams demon.
The big knock with Smith is that he appears to be a tweener at safety. His aggressiveness and physical play say strong safety, but his experience and size say free safety. He has shown great awareness in coverage, but may not have the footspeed to stay at free safety in the NFL, and lacks the strength and bulk to match up with tight ends at strong safety. He probably fits better at SS, but will have to bulk up to handle the position.
Smith has been one of the most productive safeties in college football over the last four years, and he does have an NFL future. He lacks the physical ability to be a star, but his instincts should allow him to be a contributing member of a good team. Smith could land in the third round, but do not be surprised if he slides a bit.
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