Shi Smith Draft Profile
South Carolina’s Shiyun “Shi” Smith is one of the most interesting receiver prospects in this year’s draft. By no means was he an alpha number one receiver, but I feel like he could’ve been if he had better quarterback play. Deebo Samuel looks at Shi Smith as if he is his little brother, and they have a similar mentality which should instantly attract NFL general manager. Smith could be a big time role player for whatever team takes a shot on him on day three.
The first trait that stands out when watching Shi Smith is his route running. He is a cold blooded killer at the top of his route and as Steve Smith would say, he has a PhD in route running! As I mentioned earlier, he has inherited Deebo Samuel’s mentality after the catch and while he’s not as effective as Deebo, he is still really good. Similar to a running back, Smith knows how to read his blockers. When the ball is thrown in his direction, he does a good job at adjusting to throws despite having lower level quarterback play. Smith stood out on film. One thing that will get fans drooling over him is his highlight play ability. Shi Smith is a big play guy who plays with a ton of swag. Smith’s release package put defensive backs on notice at the senior bowl and he is also a good blocker.
While Smith was able to adjust to poor throws, he also had a lot of bad drops. If the ball was ever slightly behind him, it seemed like it would get tipped up and end up going in the other direction. The Deebo Samuel mentality comes into fruition when running through contact. Smith doesn’t necessarily have the same strength as Deebo which results in him taking a lot of big hits. This could eventually cause him to miss a lot of games so he needs to learn to protect himself better or add on muscle. Smith could be a project that pays off big time in the later rounds.
Shi Smith is just such a pure route runner that has issues with drops, he reminds me a lot of Diontae Johnson for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His potential makes him a guy that can be one of the biggest steals in the draft. If he works with the right receiver coach, holy cow he can be a problem. The Seahawks are in need of a number three receiver and Smith can be a guy that they steal in the later rounds. The Washington Football Team is in a similar position and the Titans just need to add play makers.
Route Running 9/10
Yards After Catch 7.5/10
Contested Grabs 5.5/8
Releases/ Top of Route 8/8
Catch Radius 4.5/8
Final Rating: 78
Pro Comparison: Diontae Johnson
Team Fits: Seahawks, Football Team, Titans
Draft Ranking: Fourth Round Pick
Draft Projection: Fifth or Sixth Round Pick