LB Cameron Smith, Southern California

6’2” – 238 lbs. – 4.69
Started nine of ten games as a freshman, but season ended early after sustaining a season-ending injury. Started all thirteen games the following season, and reprised his starting role as a junior and senior; however, he has missed time while dealing with a hamstring injury in 2018. Comes with four seasons of starting experience for a major program. Lines up both inside and outside. Has adequate size and experience fighting through blocks behind three-man defensive lines. Tenacious and physical player who likes to play downhill and doesn’t shy away from contact. Smooth mover who has enough speed to pursue toward the sidelines. Keeps shoulders square. Plays with discipline and is patient in backside contain. Has some experience setting the edge from the outside. Looks natural in coverage, reading the quarterback’s eyes and making plays on the ball. Handles route combinations well. Effective pattern-matcher who can stick with opponents in his zone. Can carry opposing tight ends down the seams. More smooth than explosive. Looks more effective in coverage than against the run, particularly with regarding to rushing attempts between the tackles. Angles to the ball can be a little bit aggressive at times. Will be washed down the line and open up opportunities for runners to cut upfield. Size, length, and bulk are just adequate and can be swallowed up by blockers at times. Could do a better job of getting his arms extended to keep opponents out of his frame. Uses his arms to wrap but doesn’t usually square up opponents and deliver big hits to set the tone. Struggles to generate push with his bull-rush when rushing the passer. Durability may be an issue given the season-ending knee injury he sustained in 2015 and the minor injuries he dealt with as a senior. An experienced linebacker who plays with a high motor and who looks smooth and comfortable working in coverage, but whose play against the run leaves a little bit to be desired; isn’t quite as physical or successful reading keys and lining up ballcarriers as you’d like. Nonetheless, looks like a potential contributor who could get some early run in sub packages and on special-teams units. Appears to have some inside/outside and schematic versatility and took on a lot of blocks in college, but would probably be best if he’s covered by defensive linemen and allowed to flow to the ball.

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