High School and College Career
Christopher Smith attended Hapeville Charter Hornets High School and was rated as a 3-star prospect and opted to join the University of Georgia, where he began his football career in 2018. In his first year, Smith had the opportunity to play in five games, logged 63 snaps at safety for the Bulldogs, and recorded only four tackles. He also had no pass breakups, no interceptions, and a disappointing QB rating when targeted of 158.3.
The following year, as a sophomore, Smith played in seven games and logged 78 snaps for the Bulldogs. Again, he only made four tackles; however, his coverage skills showed improvement as he totaled no pass breakups or interceptions and a QB rating when targeted of 56.3.
In 2020, Smith’s junior year, he demonstrated significant growth in his football abilities. Playing in nine games and contributing on 415 snaps, he recorded 19 tackles, forced one pass breakup, had no interceptions, and surrendered a QB rating when targeted of 69.8. This was a clear improvement compared to his previous years.
As a senior in 2021, Smith saw action in 12 games and played a total of 597 snaps. During this time, he managed 30 tackles, had two pass breakups, three interceptions, and surrendered an elite QB rating when targeted of 53.8.
Finally, in 2022, as a fifth-year senior, Smith continued his upward trajectory in the sport. He participated in 13 games and had a total of 699 snaps. He logged a career-best of 41 tackles, four pass breakups, three interceptions, and surrendered an elite QB rating when targeted of 50.6.
In conclusion, Christopher Smith’s rise from an underrated high school prospect to a seasoned football player is a testament to his hard work and determination. Through years of consistent effort and progress, Smith has demonstrated that he can compete at the highest level of college football. As he prepares to transition to the professional level, it is clear that Smith has what it takes to become a successful athlete in the world of football.
Christopher Smith Scouting Report Introduction
As a top-30-ranked cornerback in the nation, Christopher Smith was named the 2017 Class 2A Defensive Player of the Year. Smith enrolled at the University of Georgia, but his first two seasons were somewhat limited in terms of action. However, his impact on the team improved significantly during the 2020 season, and he was named a team captain multiple times due to his leadership on and off the field.
Smith is a versatile player, often aligning all over the Bulldogs’ defense to suit matchup requirements. He is regarded as an instinctive defender with a high football IQ and valuable leadership skills. He communicates with his teammates and helps them to align, which is crucial in team defense. Smith has impressive ball skills and often reads opposing play concepts before jumping to intercept passes. He showcased this skill against Clemson last year and Oregon this season.
Against LSU in the SEC Championship Game, Smith demonstrated his IQ and awareness when he blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown. He also succeeded in breaking on passes that forced an interception in that game. As a former cornerback, Smith’s experience shows when assigned to play in the nickel spot from depth. He fully understands coverage techniques and knows how to eliminate the receiver’s leverage, forcing them towards his help. His hip transitions are smooth, making it easy for him to turn and run with his assignment.
Smith is known for his tackling ability, often delivering big hits to ball carriers and receiving targets. Despite his physical striking ability, he sometimes struggles with decisiveness, especially when tackling. He needs to improve his overall wrap-up technique for consistency. Additionally, Smith lacks the physical build to shed blocks from climbing offensive linemen, which could lead to him being driven or washed out of the play. Smith’s arm length also creates issues when playing at the catch point against bigger-bodied receivers and tight ends. There are concerns that he may be boxed out by these bigger weapons in the passing game, which could shield him away from the football. Smith also needs to work on consistently taking better angles to leverage the football in pursuit properly.
One of his major strengths is his great awareness of the game, which allows him to quickly analyze the situation and react accordingly. In addition, he has shown himself to be excellent at maintaining a good balance and level of patience while navigating open spaces on the field.
Another key strength of Smith’s is his ball skills. His ability to track the ball while it’s in play is exceptional, even when the ball is moving quickly downfield. Despite not always being the intended target of a pass, Smith’s coordination and hands enable him to make interceptions when given the chance.
Smith is also an adept defender, with solid abilities in both press and off coverage. He is able to mirror opposing players when needed, thanks to his impressive change-of-direction abilities. When playing with his back to the line of scrimmage, Smith does well at getting his head around in time to track the ball.
Christopher Smith demonstrates inconsistent performance when it comes to getting off blocks. He may also be slow to react when the quarterback moves back to his side of the field in a late progression. Furthermore, he has opportunities to tighten his angles in pursuit, which could enhance his ability to make stops. The report also notes that Smith needs to demonstrate better tackling techniques to finish plays consistently.
While Smith is capable of delivering big hits, he also tends to play out of control, which can lead to missed tackles.
Smith lacks top-end speed, so he needs to rely heavily on technique and being “coached up”.
Christopher Smith is the 111th prospect on our draft big board.