The Charlotte 49ers won't play football until 2013. They won't even begin construction on a stadium until April. But they finally have a name, someone to be recognized as the face of the program. Director of Athletics Judy Rose and Chancellor Philip Dubois announced Tuesday that Brad Lambert would...[details]
The Good: Displays excellent body control and balance in and out of his breaks; always has the ability to break on the ball. Has a smooth, compact back-pedal and is very patient opening up his hips. Trusts his first-step quickness to stay with receivers down the field. Showcases excellent ball skills and consistently makes plays on all levels of the field. The Bad: Lacks ideal NFL size and strength. Is boxed out easily down the field and struggles going up and high-pointing the ball vs. bigger receivers. Isn't going to win many battles at the line of scrimmage; lacks the power to get a good press and struggles shedding blocks.
Positives: Very instinctive. Outstanding hands and production. Plays with a swagger. Excellent zone awareness and natural ball skills. Very good footwork, quickness and technique. Does not waste movement. Excellent short-area burst. Very good in off-man coverage - plays the ball well in front of him. Is not fazed by route combinations and diagnoses action quickly. Anticipates the thrown ball and gets a great jump on routes. Plays big in big moments and competes. Excellent hands. Highly confident. Negatives: Too short and lacks elite speed. Talks too much. Selective hitter - can be late arriving at the ball and is often not the first to arrive to the ball despite being the closest to it. Could struggle to match up with elite receivers. Can be overaggressive squatting on routes. Did not have a great workout at the Combine. Summary: Has a very good combination of instincts and ball skills and would be an elite-level prospect if he were two inches taller and a tick faster. A quicker-than-fast ballhawk, Smith brings immediate value as a nickel back and could develop into a solid complementary corner. Will never be a shutdown corner but is the type of player you win with. Grade: Borderline first-round prospect.