After picking up football much later than many other prospects, Ryan Smith of North Carolina Central is now part of the NFL fraternity after being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the #108 overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Smith has speed to burn with a 4.45 40 yard dash and has a knack for anticipating what route will unfold. He is a very fluid player that looks comfortable and very rarely out of control. Smith does an excellent job of using his hands legally to keep the receiver uncomfortable.
He is willing to help in the running game and gets the man on the ground no matter how ugly it looks sometimes. Smith is a perfect player to fit into a zone heavy scheme, but can play man coverage as well.
Smith is a bit raw compared to other cornerbacks in the draft, but has as high of an upside as anyone once he learns to play at the highest level. He is a good fit for Tampa Bay and should at least be in competition for playing time as a rookie, possibly at the nickel position.
Congratulations to both Ryan Smith and North Carolina Central in helping to represent the FCS well in the NFL Draft.