Ryan Smith   CB   Florida
 
STRENGTHS 
Ryan is a very quick athletic CB who has very good cover skills.  He does a solid job tackling and is fearless when coming up to the line and supporting the run.  He is a smart CB and understands situational football.  Ryan has the type of quickness that could be an asset in returning punts and could help the team that drafts him right away in nickel-dime coverage.  Ryan plays bigger than his size and if he can bulk up without losing his quickness, he will be an excellent all around CB for the team that drafts him. 
 
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
Ryanís body type does not lend itself to taking the punishment of a starting CB for the next level.  It will be very hard for him to bulk up and become much stronger than he is right now without losing his quickness.  He is not the fastest CB in this draft, so if he loses his quickness, he no longer has his athletic uniqueness and become just a fill in CB.  Ryan can impact if he can stay injury free, but that means he most likely will not be able to handle a starting assignment. 
 
TALENT BOARD ROUND: 5 
If Ryan can bulk up and keep his quickness, he will become an excellent starting CB but that does not seem likely.  He lacks bulk in his upper body and overall strength to compete for a starting position; however, he is strong for his size.   I just donít think that he can get much bigger and because of injury concerns, he will not be a starter.  He is smart and has the type of athletic talent that will make it easy for him to not have to be on the field that much to impact, which is a good thing.  As a nickel-dime coverage CB, he can handle all types of WRís and is good enough tackler to not give up the yardage on a sweep around his end.  If he had to do it for a sixteen game schedule, play after play, he would wear down and the injury factor would creep into the picture.  Ryan has very good talent and, as I have stated, he is a smart player.  I would draft him on the second day of this draft because he could develop his body enough to start in the future, but I would not expect it.  I always say that I donít like drafting players in the later rounds that I feel could not start for me sometime in the future; but as you know, there is exception to every rule and in this case, I feel Ryan is an exception. 

Drew Boylhart

April/2007