Should Baltimore Ravens drafting consider Cam Smith in round one?
The Baltimore Ravens are going to need to address the cornerback position in the 2023 NFL draft. One name to keep an eye on is South Carolina cornerback Cam Smith. What does he bring to the NFL, and would he be a good fit for the Ravens in the first round?
Baltimore Ravens Draft Profile: South Carolina CB Cam Smith
Cam Smith played in a limited role during his Redshirt Freshman season in 2020. Then, he broke out the following season in 2021. Smith had nine pass breakups and three interceptions. His stats came out down a bit, but he still had a strong season starting in 2022.
It is notable that Cam Smith played 196 snaps in the slot in 2022, and 357 snaps outside. He played outside for the majority of his career but did flash the slot versatility last season. Below you can see his athletic profile.
He is definitely thin for the position but makes up for that with length and height. He also has explosive athleticism.
South Carolina CB Cam translation to the NFL
One thing that helps Cam Smith is experienced in a lot of areas. We noted that he moved into the slot when needed, and he also has experience in both man and zone. He also has played press and off-coverage.
He may be best in zone coverage because he relies on his eyes and gets his hands on the football often because of this, but he is also a player who could follow a wide out all over the field and did not have issues with crossing routes.
His ball production is another obvious plus. He not only picks balls off, but he also breaks up a lot of the incompletions that go his way.
Some of the questions come with being too grabby in coverage. He was flagged 10 times last season, which is far too often. Smith also was not much of a threat in the run game, which hurts how often you can keep him in the slot. Beyond that, he had a couple of minor injuries throughout the past two years.
NFL Comparison for Cam Smith
The best NFL Comparison for Cam Smith is Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. You can see below that they are both taller and thinner cornerbacks. This did not hold back DRC from having a long NFL career.
DRC also moved in and out of the slot, which Cam Smith is known to do. Beyond that, they both had a knack for breaking up a lot of passes and intercepting passes, making it a bold decision to test them. However, at the same time, they can get burnt, and DRC had issues with giving up big plays and penalties.
They sound similar, and you could see Cam Smith have a long NFL career, despite similar ups and downs.
Should Baltimore Ravens Draft South Carolina CB Cam Smith?
The Baltimore Ravens need a cornerback. Cam Smith fits for a lot of reasons. They are losing a lot of ball production from Marcus Peters. Also, they like to use Marlon Humphrey in and out of the slot. With Cam Smith, they can put the thicker wideouts on Humphrey, and the thinner ones on Cam Smith, and let them both play the slot when needed.
The question is the value. In the second round Cam Smith is a no brainer and great fit. However, you have to wonder if he is the right fit in the first round. It will obviously depend on how the board breaks, and if a run on cornerbacks goes, you probably have to do it. He is a good cornerback, and may have a solid NFL career, but may be a solid number two, and not an elite number one.