2006 Draft Preview: S Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith

Seahawks.NET's Ryan Rigmaiden continues his look at the safety prospects available in the 2006 NFL Draft and turns his spotlight to an unheralded player from the Big East -- Syracuse's Anthony Smith.

3. Anthony Smith, S Syracuse 5-11, 195 (4.55)

NFL Comparison - Madieu Williams, Cincinnati

Overview -

Extremely instinctive and is aware of all his surroundings. Started as a sophomore for the Orangemen and received plenty of playing time as a true freshman. Has good range and speed, but isn't a burner. Gets to the ball by being aware of where it's going before anyone else does. Isn't a huge hitter, but is reliable and makes plays all over the field. Is extremely passionate and is a natural leader. Very tough; hasn't missed a game.

Against the Pass -

Doesn't have elite speed or athleticism, but his instincts make up for it. Much better suited for zone coverage because he lacks premier man-to-man skills. Highpoints the ball and has decent ball skills (five interceptions in 2003 and six in 2005).

Against the Run -

Fills holes, but isn't a sledgehammer that destroys the ballcarrier. Tackles well and takes good angles to the ball. Can make plays in the box and can blitz.

Roster Impact for Seattle -

Smith fits better as a SS than a FS, so his role with Seattle would be undefined because Michael Boulware is entrenched there for the Hawks. However, Smith is definitely a Ruskell-type football player and would be a great backup at either position. His ability, passion and desire to win make him an ideal candidate.

Final Analysis -

Smith is earning third grades from most scouts, but I have him as a second round player. He's the definition of a football player and has the potential to be a very good NFL safety despite his lack of elite athleticism. He's going to be a great player for some lucky team.

As usual, any questions or comments can be sent to rlrigmaiden@hotmail.com. Thanks for taking the time to write in.

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