South Carolina defensive coordinator on what Dolphins are getting in CB Cam Smith
During the pre-draft process, the Miami Dolphins had to prepare for the three-day event with the knowledge that they’d be without a first-round pick for the second year in a row.
This year, Miami traded one of their firsts for linebacker Bradley Chubb while the other was stripped for their involvement in tampering with former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady while he was still under contract.
With that information, the Dolphins knew that they’d have to nail their first selection at pick No. 51, and while they may have had more important needs, they went with the best player available, in their opinion, selecting South Carolina cornerback Cam Smith.
Smith played 31 games over four seasons with the Gamecocks, recording 91 tackles, 18 passes defended, six interceptions and one forced fumble. His play earned him Second-team All-SEC honors in 2021.
While many are wondering how Smith will adjust to the NFL game, and where he’ll fit on the roster, South Carolina defensive coordinator Clayton White has some extremely high praise for his former cornerback.
“[The Dolphins] got the best cover corner in the draft,” White told the Miami Herald. “And I’m biased. But a scout came by and they said it, they said it all year.”
Smith was the seventh cornerback taken in the draft with four being selected in the first round. However, it’s fair to say that his stock dropped due to penalties, and those are fixable. His traits and tenacity make him the prospect that he is.
“He reads routes better than anybody that I’ve been around, remembers splits and stances and concepts. That’s the part that really separates him,” White said. “… He’s a football junkie when it comes to studying. He has unbelievable retention.”
That’s something the Dolphins absolutely love to hear. It’s tougher to teach football intelligence, and if a player already grasps concepts it makes the transition to the NFL level much easier.
It’ll be interesting to see how Smith fits in the secondary. There’s a mix of personalities on the field. Xavien Howard is reserved, Jalen Ramsey is talkative and Jevon Holland is a bit of a mix of the two. Smith seems to fall somewhere between Ramsey and Holland.
“You’re going to hear Cam,” White said. “He’s a really geeked-up kind of guy. He’s very emotional in a smart, good way, but sometimes it can come off as negative. But he’s very in tune, he’s very into everything. …
“He’s a bonafide corner. Some corners are clean-cut. And some guys got some edge. Cam’s got a little edge to him that you love.”
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