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Lions 2024 NFL Draft Report: Chau Smith-Wade, CB, Washington State

It is finally draft season for Lions fans.

Brad Holmes and his front office have proven they are very capable of putting together great draft classes. They have had major hits on every day of the draft, but especially on Day Two. This roster isn’t in desperate need of much because of his work, but they do have some positions that need to be addressed.

This offseason, they should be focusing on getting better play out of their defensive backs, adding depth on the defensive line, and building out the wide receiver room.

These scouting reports should introduce you to some of the names that Lions fans could hear during the three days of the NFL Draft.

Background

  • Height: 5’10”

  • Weight: 187

  • 4th Year Senior

  • Played Entire College Career at Washington State

  • 3-Star Recruit According to 247 Sports

  • Honorable mention All-Pac 12 team member in 2022

  • Selected to the 2024 Senior Bowl Roster

College Production

  • 71 total tackles

  • Six tackles for a loss

  • 17 pass deflections

  • Three interceptions

  • Three forced fumbles

Traits and Skills

Hips/Fluidity

The size of Chau Smith-Wade is something to behold but the way he moves his frame explains his game even more. He uses his fluidity in his movement to make plays on the ball and to make plays in the run game. I really like his movement ability within this Lions secondary where so many guys looked stiff when going to make a play.

Speed

Love the speed that he has in his game, almost to the point where I think about the possibilities he has on special teams. He closes very quickly on ball carriers and receivers while also not over-committing. The speed he has is at the NFL level which will make coaching him up that much easier.

Recovery

Smith-Wade was beat a lot when I watched him against Oregon, not something you want to hear. What made me a fan though was his recovery ability. He would constantly close quickly when he was beat by the receiver and if they got the ball he was right there making a play on it. Not often you see players with an attitude to recover when beaten but he has it.

Fit within the Lions Roster

The Lions kryptonite was the passing attack of its opponents in 2023. The pass defense gave up far too many plays down the stretch of the season, especially over the top of the defense. They need speed and size and that can come with Chau Smith-Wade.

He isn’t going to be strong in man coverage for the Lions but in zone he could thrive. Aaron Glenn has shown he will put his players in the best position to find success and Smith-Wade could be a lot of fun with him scheming. This is a player that would most likely have to be drafted on Day Two and could be a great value.

Story originally appeared on Lions Wire