Cameron Smith is a sleeper with the potential to be an IDP star. What needs to happen for him to live up to his potential?
Can Cameron Smith breakout as a rookie sleeper and live up to his IDP potential? Lets take a look at the numbers and the film.
2019 Film Scouting Session – Cameron Smith – USC- Linebacker.
6’2” 240 lbs. Arms: 32 ⅜ Hands: 10 ⅜
40 yard dash: 4.69 Vertical: 39.0” Bench: 15 reps at 225 lbs.
My 1st Impression – “Production > Flash”
First off, the only reason I am writing about one of my favorite prospects, is… I have been watching him for years, I love his game and because I already have him in most of my leagues that allow devy picks.
Yes, I was that guy wasting my last devy picks on a linebacker. I know scoff at me, I get it and I don’t care. Because in the long and steady-scoring run, it will be a solid draft pick!
Let’s just get the numbers out of the way,
Career At University of Southern California:
2015 – 78 tackles, 1 sack, 3 Int’s, 3 PD’s (In only 10 games)
2016 – 83 tackles , 7 TFL, 4 PD’s (In 13 starts)
2017 – 112 tackles, 11 TFL, 1 Int, 3 PD’s (In 14 games)
2018 – 81 tackles 7.5 TFL, 4 PD’s (10 games played, Injured)
Most film watchers out there, amateur scouts to NFL coaches, may see a yawner while watching Mr. Smith’s film. He is quite un-extraordinary in the huge hit department. Also in the flashy tackle for loss department. He won’t be that guy on the field where the player gets up and flashes a gesture like a WWE wrestling champion of a belt that is not there.
See, this is the kid that you can grab in the late, late, late basement rounds. Take advantage of some of your non-savvy IDP draft mates and make out like a king! Especially when he gets his feet wet and planted as a starter in the near future. I love guys like this who go in and bring their lunch pail and get to it and produce for you.
Now, film time!
~Right as the video starts, (0:00 – 0:07) you see how this kid (#35) can move nicely through the traffic and make the tackle.
(You will probably have to restart it quick to see where he came from.*)
~On the next play, (0:09) Mr. Smith avoids the low block and shows that he does not go backwards and hold his ground while making the tackle.
~At (1:51) you can see a grab tackle which Cam Smith made. These are tackles that hurt your fingertips because of the half back and your momentum. Good grab by him but you want to avoid these type of tackles by using a slightly better angle while headed toward that offensive tackle to get him off balance a little bit.
~At (3:07), this is a play in where he needs to get to that corner even though there is a fake to execute a reverse. He needs to just keep his momentum going and seal that corner. In your mind you have to tell yourself that there is no way you are getting back the other way with the momentum and your position as the outside man in pursuit.
~At (4:03), A really nice pass defended.
The rest of the video shows some of his overall game. Among the great plays, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. His reaction time on some of the later plays in this video shows he needs work. Reading plays and the speed in fakes seem to throw him off a little bit.
From what I have seen of his coverage skills in covering running backs out of the backfield, he is not as bad as some of the scouts have been saying. I don’t see him covering Alvin Kamara or a Tarik Cohen but the average back I can see him handle with 15 yards.
In today’s IDP world I think that this kid compares a lot to Green Bay’s Blake Martinez. Mr. Smith will need some time to get acclimated to the speed of the NFL game and also may need some strength management, which he will get in the NFL. Mr. Martinez went through this and he came out of the gate like a bat out of hell!
I looked Blake up in my expert league and see that he is a top 5 linebacker, (which is higher than I thought!). Cameron Smith could come close to this production in the next couple years. I also see him being a steady source of tackles and points to your IDP squad. A solid LB2-3 every week is not a bad thing, trust me.
Furthermore, on every championship team I have had, there are about 4-6, Cam Smith type of, “Lunch pail” steady producing middle to inside linebackers.
If you enjoyed reading, please come join me on Twitter @FatAdamSchefter or @TheDynastyScout and we can continue the IDP and Dynasty Football talk!
Good Luck with all your upcoming leagues and drafts/Auctions. Always remember, IDP=Life & Always Be Scouting!