STRENGTHS - A big, thick bodied receiver, Smith definitely fits the mold of the big wideout that NFL teams have been searching for. He has quick feet for a big receiver and while he lacks explosiveness off the ball, once he gets moving he has good playing speed. Fearless catching passes as he heads into traffic, he tucks the ball away fast so that he can hold onto it when he gets hit right after the catch. Blessed with soft, strong hands, Smith consistently reaches out and plucks the ball away from his body and shows the body control to adjust and catch off-target throws. He gets started up the field quickly after the catch, has the strength and balance to run through arm/grab tackles to gain yards after contact. For a big receiver he has better than expected agility to change directions and make tacklers miss. He uses his size and strength to block defenders out of the play when he stays over his feet and after the block.
WEAKNESSES - More of a smooth, fluid athlete, Smith lacks the explosiveness off the ball and out of his cuts that elite big receivers have. While he has good playing speed for a big man, he lacks the speed to get separation deep and to out-run angles while running after the catch. He needs to run sharper and more precise routes,; especially needs to improve his burst out of cuts if he is going to be able to get separation versus man coverage in the NFL. Although he can be a good blocker, he has a tendency to stop feet and gives up on block too soon at times. .
SUMMARY - Not a player I knew much about when I began evaluating EJ Manuel, but it quickly became clear that Smith is an athletic, big receiver with soft hands and a good runner after the catch. While his routes need work so that he can better get separation from man coverage, he does a good job of using his body to shield defender and catch pass. Although Smith is not a big name receiver, he has many physical traits of a starting NFL receiver. Overall, I doubt that Smith is going to be drafted as highly as I have him rated, but I am confident that if he improves his route running he could develop into a quality starting receiver.