When Steve Smith came to USC, he played behind Mike Williams and Keary Colbert. As a freshman, he hauled in 17 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns. As they departed, Smith was looking to have the goto receiver spot to himself, but then came a kid from New Jersey named Dwayne Jarrett to develop into USCís next superstar WR. Even though Jarrett has gotten the majority of the looks from Matt Leinart, Smith has been very productive himself. As a sophomore, he caught 42 passes for 660 yards and six touchdowns, despite missing five games with a broken leg. Last year he fell just shy of 1,000 yards receiving, finishing with 957 yards on 60 grabs and five touchdowns. As a senior Smith was the most consistent Trojan receiver, finishing with a team leading 64 catches and 975 yards, to go along with eight touchdowns.
Steve Smith may not be spectacular in any way, but he is solid across the board. He has solid size, and is not afraid to go over the middle and make plays. He has the quickness to beat the corner off the line, and the speed to get vertical and make plays. Smithís best trait is his ability to come up with the spectacular grab on a consistent basis. He has excellent body control and will make the tough grab look easy.
As a junior for a high profile program like USC, Smith got ahead of himself last year and had one eye on the NFL, instead of focusing on the college season. He dropped quite a few catchable balls that he did not drop his first two seasons. His production really tailed off at the end of the year as he was checking out his options to declare for the draft. While Smith is solid across the board, he doesnít possess that one tremendous physical skill that definitely translates to the next level.
Steve Smith had an excellent senior year, bouncing back after slowing down as his junior season closed. He has had an awesome showing in the post season, and may hear his name called in the second round.