3 things to know about Dolphins rookie CB Cam Smith
The Dolphins selected cornerback Cam Smith at pick No. 51 in the 2023 NFL draft.
It’s curious as to why the Dolphins were interested in Smith, considering they currently have Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey on the roster. It looks to be a scenario where general manager Chris Grier chose high-level talent over filling a need.
Some thought Smith could slide into the first round because of his elite talent athletically, instead, he fell to the latter half of the second round. The Dolphins have been prioritizing giving the defense depth this offseason. Clearly, they see a use for Smith in the near future.
Before the former Gamecock takes the field wearing aqua and orange, here are a few things fans should know about the young rookie.
Smith comes into the NFL with elite athletic ability, running a 4.43-second 40-yard dash. For context, Ramsey ran it in 4.41 seconds. He posted an RAS (Relative Athletic Score) of 9.68 out of a possible 10.
Elite speed is a must for today’s corners, considering how explosive modern offenses are. It’s a talent that’s found naturally in players as opposed to coached.
The fundamentals needed to succeed in the NFL today can be instilled in Smith by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and cornerbacks coach Sam Madison. Smith discussed his liking for coach Fangio’s coaching style in his media availability.
“I love a coach who pays attention to detail, make sure that everything is smooth and crisp and ironed out,” Smith said.
High School and College Career
Smith played four seasons at South Carolina and is coming into the league as a red-shirted junior. Coming out of high school Smith was the No. 19 cornerback in the country and the 150th prospect overall.
After graduating from Westwood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina. He played in 33 games, starting 19, for the Gamecocks and totaled 18 pass breakups and six interceptions.
Pro Football Focus listed him as an Honorable Mention for All-American and second-team All-SEC in 2021, his best statistical season.
Needs to clean up Penalties
One knock on Smith’s play last year would be his tendency to commit penalties. He totaled 10 penalties in 11 games a season ago.
There may not be a position requiring more discipline on penalties than cornerbacks. Considering pass interference is the fastest way for teams to rack up penalty yardage, it’s imperative that Smith makes it a focal point this season.
With the addition of Fangio, Smith will have a chance to correct these issues in a low-pressure situation playing behind Ramsey and Howard.