25 year old Sean Smith is about to enter his 4th season as a starting cornerback for the Miami Dolphins. His first 3 seasons have produced a measly 3 INTs, but I do anticipate a big year from Smith.
At 6’3 Smith has good height, at 4.5/40 he has good speed. He is physically gifted. He was a WR for the Utah Utes, but early on in his college career they switched him to CB. He began to flourish in his new position, so much so that the ‘Phins drafted him to be one of their starting CBs in the 2nd round. Vontae Davis had been taken by Miami in the 1st round of the same 2009 NFL draft and these two were slated to be the CB-duo for years to come.
That did not work out as Smith struggled, and Davis regressed. There does seem to be improvement from Smith so far in 2012. The pressure is on as he will be facing the oppositions #1 WR each game since Davis was traded recently to the Indianapolis Colts. New defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has a history of getting good play form his defensive-backs and you can see his influence in how good Smith’s technique has been so far in 2012. His footwork/technique when he needs to change directions quickly has improved. Smith backpedals quickly, and is adept at reading a QBs eyes and making a break on the ball. He does need to finish more often (I mean attack the route, get there, AND complete the INT…He has been butterfingers so far in the NFL).
His 3 career INTs are against Carson Palmer, Michael Vick, and Tony Romo. Week 2 is a date with the Oakland Raiders (Dolphins home opener) so he will see Palmer again soon. For the ‘Phins to exceed 2012 expectations then Smith needs to add guys like Matt Schaub, Tom Brady, Mark Sanchez, and Ryan Fitzpatrick to his INT list.
Smith is solid vs the run, and his tackling is getting better. He is a very good man-to-man CB, and does a nice job getting physical at the line of scrimmage to push WRs off of their route.
This is a contract year for Smith. It should be a good combo of a motivated player and an improving player who should be ready to take over as the lead dog for the ‘Phins secondary.
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