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Breakdown of Fresno State S Derron Smith


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0ap3000000383078.jpg

 

Size: 5'10" and 200 lbs. Smith is a small player for the position. Ideally he'd be about and inch and a half taller and about 10-15 lbs heavier. He also has short arms and small hands. In spite of that, Smith sports a compact, powerful looking frame. I don't think his frame brings up any injury worries. He looks like he can absorb and dish out contact. (2/5) 

 

Athleticism: Smith is simply an average athlete at the position. At his size, you'd like to see that lack of bulk translate into great athleticism, but it really doesn't. Again, he's not a bad athlete, but he's not what you would expect from a 200 lb DB. Acceleration is good. Isn't going to beat anyone for a jump-ball. (6/10)

 

Fluidity: Smith doesn't look like Landon Collins in coverage. He has fluid hips and good change of direction ability. Looks natural playing high in coverage. I would even suggest that he could play nickel-corner in the pros. He was often tasked with playing single-high in a man-coverage scheme. From what I have seen, he does a good job not over-committing to one side of the field. He has good, not great range. I think that Smith is a  player who could play a Tyrann Mathieu-like role in our defense: safety in the base D and nickel-corner in sub-packages. (7/10).

 

Physicality & ITB ability: Smith also plays a lot of ITB safety in addition to his single-high responsibilities. He's a willing tackler who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty in the run game. As for his tackling, he does a good job of locating the ball-carrier in traffic and wrapping up. He has a tendency to launch himself and takes bad angles to the ball-carrier when the play is in the open-field. Smith probably won't make a name for himself with big highlight style hits, but every once in a while he can knock around a receiver or RB. Because of his size (or lack thereof) he's prone to bouncing and sliding off of ball-carries. Drag down tackler if his launching doesn't hit his target. Doesn't shed blocks at all. (5/10)

 

Technical Ability: Tackling technique is inconsistent to say the least. Out of control in the open-field. Often times tries to do too much and abandons his assignment (ex. seeing a TE come free underneath and moving on that and leaving his corner hanging out to dry). Uses good body control to narrow the gap between him and taller, more physically dominant receivers. The things he does well, he does really well, the things he does not so well, he does really bad. Average reaction time. Play recognition is better against the run than it is during passing plays. (6/10)

 

Ball Skills: 13 interception in his career. Puts himself in good position to get to the ball, but definitely can get out-muscled by bigger players. I'd say his ball skills are well-above average. He did have a terrible drop against Rutgers. (4/5)

 

Consistency: This is a funny one because it doesn't necessarily mean a good thing. He consistently did the things he does bad badly, and consistently does the thing he does well well. He wasn't a liability in coverage, but he was a liability trying to make a tackle in the open field. How do I grade that? Since I value coverage ability more than tackling, I'll give him a little leeway. (3/5)

 

GIFs: 

 

Smith lays the wood: http://zippy.gfycat.com/AccurateCalmAfricanaugurbuzzard.webm

 

Slides off of the RB: http://zippy.gfycat.com/RegularUnrulyHoatzin.webm

 

1-on-1 with RB: http://zippy.gfycat.com/VariableVengefulDunlin.webm

 

Bad drop: http://zippy.gfycat.com/ThatIllIvorybackedwoodswallow.webm

 

Makes up for it a few plays later: http://zippy.gfycat.com/DesertedGleamingBirdofparadise.webm

 

Conclusion: 

 

Grade: 33 out of 55, which warrants a low 2nd-round grade. 

 

Smith is a feisty, undersized, fluid coverage safety who was asked to do a low in Fresno State's defense. He was often asked to alternate between single-high coverage and ITB looks. He's definitely what I would consider an "interchangeable" safety. He'll do well in coverage, but I wouldn't expect a pro-bowl player.

 

NFL Comparison: Poor man's Tyrann Mathieu. ARZ

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Nice to finally hear your thoughts on him. He reminds me of Jimmy Ward least year. Small guy who is great in coverage and not afraid when you put him in the box.

Underrated player. He lead the FBS in interceptions for the 2013 season with 13. I would feel alot better about the Colts taking Collins if we got Smith the next round.

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0ap3000000383078.jpg

 

Size: 5'10" and 200 lbs. Smith is a small player for the position. Ideally he'd be about and inch and a half taller and about 10-15 lbs heavier. He also has short arms and small hands. In spite of that, Smith sports a compact, powerful looking frame. I don't think his frame brings up any injury worries. He looks like he can absorb and dish out contact. (2/5) 

 

Athleticism: Smith is simply an average athlete at the position. At his size, you'd like to see that lack of bulk translate into great athleticism, but it really doesn't. Again, he's not a bad athlete, but he's not what you would expect from a 200 lb DB. Acceleration is good. Isn't going to beat anyone for a jump-ball. (6/10)

 

Fluidity: Smith doesn't look like Landon Collins in coverage. He has fluid hips and good change of direction ability. Looks natural playing high in coverage. I would even suggest that he could play nickel-corner in the pros. He was often tasked with playing single-high in a man-coverage scheme. From what I have seen, he does a good job not over-committing to one side of the field. He has good, not great range. I think that Smith is a  player who could play a Tyrann Mathieu-like role in our defense: safety in the base D and nickel-corner in sub-packages. (7/10).

 

Physicality & ITB ability: Smith also plays a lot of ITB safety in addition to his single-high responsibilities. He's a willing tackler who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty in the run game. As for his tackling, he does a good job of locating the ball-carrier in traffic and wrapping up. He has a tendency to launch himself and takes bad angles to the ball-carrier when the play is in the open-field. Smith probably won't make a name for himself with big highlight style hits, but every once in a while he can knock around a receiver or RB. Because of his size (or lack thereof) he's prone to bouncing and sliding off of ball-carries. Drag down tackler if his launching doesn't hit his target. Doesn't shed blocks at all. (5/10)

 

Technical Ability: Tackling technique is inconsistent to say the least. Out of control in the open-field. Often times tries to do too much and abandons his assignment (ex. seeing a TE come free underneath and moving on that and leaving his corner hanging out to dry). Uses good body control to narrow the gap between him and taller, more physically dominant receivers. The things he does well, he does really well, the things he does not so well, he does really bad. Average reaction time. Play recognition is better against the run than it is during passing plays. (6/10)

 

Ball Skills: 13 interception in his career. Puts himself in good position to get to the ball, but definitely can get out-muscled by bigger players. I'd say his ball skills are well-above average. He did have a terrible drop against Rutgers. (4/5)

 

Consistency: This is a funny one because it doesn't necessarily mean a good thing. He consistently did the things he does bad badly, and consistently does the thing he does well well. He wasn't a liability in coverage, but he was a liability trying to make a tackle in the open field. How do I grade that? Since I value coverage ability more than tackling, I'll give him a little leeway. (3/5)

 

GIFs: 

 

Smith lays the wood: http://zippy.gfycat.com/AccurateCalmAfricanaugurbuzzard.webm

 

Slides off of the RB: http://zippy.gfycat.com/RegularUnrulyHoatzin.webm

 

1-on-1 with RB: http://zippy.gfycat.com/VariableVengefulDunlin.webm

 

Bad drop: http://zippy.gfycat.com/ThatIllIvorybackedwoodswallow.webm

 

Makes up for it a few plays later: http://zippy.gfycat.com/DesertedGleamingBirdofparadise.webm

 

Conclusion: 

 

Grade: 33 out of 55, which warrants a low 2nd-round grade. 

 

Smith is a feisty, undersized, fluid coverage safety who was asked to do a low in Fresno State's defense. He was often asked to alternate between single-high coverage and ITB looks. He's definitely what I would consider an "interchangeable" safety. He'll do well in coverage, but I wouldn't expect a pro-bowl player.

 

NFL Comparison: Poor man's Tyrann Mathieu. ARZ

 

So,  do you have a list of possible 2nd round safeties?

 

Who do you like that much, and in what order?

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