Cameron Smith, USC: 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: (Left)Cameron Smith
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: (Left)Cameron Smith /

USC’s Cameron Smith is an instinctive linebacker who also features the athleticism needed to make plays all over the field.

Cameron Smith is a heady football player who obviously spends a lot of time in the film room. He recognizes plays pre-snap and then quickly attacks after the snap. Smith is a naturally instinctual player who can make reads on the fly.

This is an explosive athlete who can cover a lot of ground. He has quick-twitch ability which allows him to close on the ball carrier. It also comes in to play when Smith is asked to rush the quarterback. He’s highly effective as a blitzer thanks to this burst and his snap awareness.

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Against the run, Smith has a knack for finding a clear lane to the ball carrier. He picks his way through traffic without losing his angle.

Smith is listed at 6’2” 245 lbs, but appears much smaller than that on the field. It’ll be interesting to see what his actual measurements are when he goes through the draft process. His size could mean the difference between him being a top-15 pick or late 1st rounder.

The size factor isn’t as big of a deal as it has been in the past. In fact, NFL teams are looking for athletic linebackers like Smith who can fill multiple roles.

His ability to stuff the run isn’t impacted by his size thanks to his combination of speed and instincts. It’s somewhat of an art form watching Smith work his way through traffic. He also does a great job lowering his shoulder to slip off blocks while remaining in the hole.

Smith’s athleticism and balance make him a strong coverage linebacker. His feel for developing routes also helps him hold up in coverage.

He is a dangerous blitzer who can quickly close ground on the quarterback. If he doesn’t reach the quarterback Smith gets his hands up and bats the ball at the line of scrimmage. This is just another example of his natural football instincts.

Overall, Smith is a playmaker who is always around the football. This is the type of player  you want leading your defense from the inside linebacker position.