CB Saivion Smith, Alabama*

6’1” – 199 lbs.

Five-star recruit who originally attended Louisiana St., playing sparingly before transferring to Alabama, which required him to sit out the 2017 season. Stepped into a full-time starting role with the Tide, picking up 60 tackles, intercepting three passes, and breaking up another five before declaring for the draft. Tall, very long-limbed cornerback (33.25” arms) who played on both sides of the defense, playing out of a lot of press alignments but sometimes bailing into a shuffle technique; goes into zone when opponents don’t line up a receiver to his side of the formation. Able to play on the short or long side of the field. Defensive scheme does not call for its players to backpedal much, so that will be a necessary adjustment at the pro level in all likelihood. Pretty fluid mover who uses his length to get his arms on opponents at the line, has the footwork to mirror releases at the line of scrimmage. Provides tight, flat coverage on routes over the middle. Quick feet to shuffle or use the sideline to pin opponents. More flexible than explosive, lacking an elite closing burst to recover when out of phase; could be a problem given his aggressiveness in sitting on the first break. Top-end speed looks good but not great. However, compensates for it somewhat with his impressive length and solid ball skills; appears to have good timing to go for the breakup and soft hands to come down with interceptions when he’s in-phase. Can sometimes get opened up by double-moves; see Missouri game. Not the most physical player in run support, but is willing to come up and wrap up ballcarriers low. Can be put on skates at times, but does a good job of getting extension when taking on blocks and staying to the outside of the play; plays a little bit lighter than anticipated and can struggle to handle the initial contact. A player who has a lot of the physical and athletic tools teams look for, but who could stand to take a slightly more conservative approach to coverage and develop his functional strength in order to hold up better in the run game. Nonetheless, comes from a program with an excellent reputation for preparing its players for the pro game, and his encouraging 2018 campaign as a first-year starter could earn him some second-day consideration.

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