The dictionary defines Phenom as a person who is outstandingly talented or admired especially an up and comer. Smith was a herald 4 Star prospect who came in and made an immediate impact with the Trojans starting as a true freshman. A tackling machine, Cameron Smith has only improved over the years seeing his tackle total increase each year along with his tackle for losses. Here is a look at what he does well and what his NFL future may be.
What Cameron Smith Does Well
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) August 11, 2018
Cameron Smith is at his best when he’s moving forward attacking towards the ball. Smith uses his burst to navigate through traffic to get to the ball carrier. This ability to knife through the offensive line is a big reason why he has 11 tackles for loss in 2017. Smith is also shows good gap discipline filling in holes and not over perusing or putting himself in a bad position. In coverage Smith is able to flow laterally covering the middle of the field while having the speed to run down the seam with tight ends.
Concerns about Cameron Smith
While Smith has good burst and is talented at coming forward, he lacks that top end speed that the elite linebackers have to play sideline to sideline causing him to not make plays outside of the box. Smith is also very calculated with his movements but does get fooled by misdirection too often. As a pass defender Smith is limited to playing mainly zone and will struggle with match up effectively if the receiver or tight end cutting in or out.
There is a lot to like about Smith but as it stands he looks like a limited prospect transitioning to the NFL. His traits and strengths project him to being a rotational run defending linebacker. That’s not bad as he can play in type of scheme, when the team goes to a dime or a big nickle he’ll likely be replaced. With Smith being able to play on coverage units and fill a specific role on defense he should have a long career baring any injuries.