Christopher Smith NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Georgia S
40-YARD DASH: TBD
— Versatile player who can play at multiple levels of the defense, from deep center field down to the slot.
— Downhill player with quick reaction to the run game. Full-speed player who closes ground quickly with good angles.
— Physical tackler who is willing to strike anyone with the ball. Does a good job of throwing his body around and cutting out the ball-carrier's legs.
— Smooth backpedal and quick feet to get out of breaks.
— Displays great vision, anticipation and timing to bait and jump routes.
— Lacks top-end speed to run with receivers downfield.
— Has slightly above-average man-cover skills but can struggle at times when matched up against shiftier receivers. Often plays catch technique and doesn't show the use of a backpedal much.
— Stops feet at times when tackling, allowing some-ball carriers to take away his angles or gain extra yards.
— Can play out of control at times.
— 2022 Bronko Nagurski Award Finalist
Christopher Smith is an average-sized safety (5'11", 195 lbs) with plenty of versatility to play at all three levels of the defense.
A physical guy who plays without personal regard for his body, he does a great job of running through ball-carriers on tackles. His best attributes are when he's supporting the run. He shows outstanding run reads and triggers quickly with a downhill play style.
Smith generally takes good angles when supporting the run, although he does occasionally lose his angle to speedier athletes. He has also proved to be an effective blitzer with an explosive first step, along with the ability to bend on the edge.
When playing the pass, Smith is versatile enough to play deep safety, underneath coverage and man coverage. When in zone, he has the vision to see the field along with the instincts to make a play on the ball in the air. However, he can get beat in man coverage at times due to his lack of speed in his backpedal and limited top-end speed when opening to run.
Overall, Smith is one of the best and most consistent safeties in this year's draft. He can do just about everything that is asked of him, and he will fit into most schemes in the NFL. He will need to continue to work on his top-end speed, especially in coverage. But the way he plays the run will help him make an immediate impact for whichever team drafts him.
GRADE: 8.1 (Year 1 Starter)
OVERALL RANK: 17
POSITION RANK: S1
PRO COMPARISON: Johnathan Abram
Written by B/R NFL Scout Cory Giddings