Size. Has tremendous size. Uses his size and strength to shield corners from contested balls. Hyper-aware of defenders around him in space. Tremendous ball tracker with ability to search, find and follow the pass in over his shoulder. Fantastic body control. Able to twist and rotate to adapt to ball location in air. Reliable blocker. Uses strength to power corners into areas for running backs to spring through. Great Special Teamer. Returned kicks all 3 years. Excelled as a freshman. Big Play type receiver who will go up and get the ball.
A slow step on his breaks. Missing the sudden acceleration out of his cuts to generate separation and an easy throwing window. Off-man corners may squat on underneath routes if they don’t fear his vertical speed. Can be slow to release against press coverage. Had only 3 to 4 big games during the season that contributed to most his stats.
How He Fits
Normally, I would be against taking a WR out of USC. The proof is in the pudding. These guys just don’t have much success in the league apart from Lynn Swann, Johnnie Morton, and Keyshawn Johnson (debatable). But like all good things, this too shall come to an end. And I think it starts with Smith-Schuster.
Do the Packers really need yet another WR? We have Nelson, Cobb, Adams, Allison, Davis, and Janis. Let’s break it down. Janis is a special teamer. Davis is a future product. Allison was a fun moment in 2016, but I don’t see it being a reoccurring theme. Adams is week to week. Cobb is great but no number one. And Jordy is amazing, but on the latter of his career. Let’s face it. More weapons for Aaron Rodgers is a good thing. Bottom line. He can be that big, game-breaking, go up and get it, type of guy. That playmaker.
Like any receiver entering the draft, the combine will dictate what round you go. If Smith-Schuster comes out and runs a sub 4.4 40-yard dash, then he will skyrocket up the boards. If he has an off day, then you could see him slide.