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View Full Version : A name to watch come draft time, Alphonso Smith



SteelCrazy
03-19-2009, 07:22 PM
http://www.examiner.com/x-2703-Pittsbur ... onso-Smith (http://www.examiner.com/x-2703-Pittsburgh-Sports-Examiner~y2009m3d19-Steeler-report-A-name-to-watch-come-draft-time-Alphonso-Smith)

PITTSBURGH - Who the Steelers will draft is still a mystery. Most fans want an offensive lineman, but the team spent millions to keep its four free-agent lineman. Others are hoping for another wide receiver, considering Nate Washington is gone and Limas Sweed struggled last year.

The philosophy over the years, though, is if the best available athlete is still out there- take him over need.

"I think the Steelers always look for good players, great people, it's really a nebulous characteristic," Steeler Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert said recently. “We always talk about the Steeler Way. It's all about trying to do the right thing all the time."

So what is the most pressing need at this time? Looking at the roster, no doubt it is the cornerback slot. At the Combine, Colbert told reporters there is a lot of talent at that position this year.

On Wednesday the team re-signed cornerback Fernando Bryant. It was a move to add depth to the corp. Bryant is a veteran, but at 32, no one knows how he could hold up if needed for a full season.

The last time he charted 16 games was in 2007 with the Lions. Considering William Gay, DeShea Townsend and Ike Taylor are the only others on the depth charts now, expect the team to pluck a corner on the first day.

When and who is the big question.

Here's a guy to keep an eye on, especially if he is there with the 32nd selection, Alphonso Smith of Wake Forest. He is projected as a late first round/early second round guy, with many saying he reminds them of Dre Bly.

Smith holds the ACC record for career interceptions (21) has a lot of speed and big time potential. But he is just 5-foot-9 and that is the only reason he is not a projected top-ten pick. Still, despite the fact he is smaller than most NFL corners, during his career at Wake he has produced on the field and been a playmaker.

NFL Draft Dog seems to feel of the available corners, Smith is the best out there and reminds them of a young Dion Sanders with his deadly closing speed.

If there has been a weakness, it's the fact he has struggled against bigger receivers, but this was mainly because he went for the big play. Last year he did a good job of covering Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland, The 6-foot-6 Greg Carr of Florida State and against Duke's Eron Riley he made a game winning interception. Smith seems to have a short memory if he makes a mistake on the field and usually comes back with a vengence.

Smith also brings a little swagger with him and has a knack of baiting the quarterback to throwing it his way. He also is familiar with Santonio Holmes, as he works out with him in the off-season along with Anquan Boldin, who went to his high school.

If Smith is still there, call it a 60/40 chance the Steelers will go for him. He would fit right away into the nickel role and learn the position from Townsend. The Steelers could also solve the return game problems here, as he is a very dangerous, not to mention the fact he played some wide receiver - with many saying he could slip in right away and play slot receiver in the NFL because of his hustle and great hands.

steelz09
03-19-2009, 08:01 PM
5'9 is very concerning to be honest. Those guys tend to get abused by those taller receivers especially in jump ball / fade route situations.

I don't doubt his physical ability though. And we all know the steelers like versatility so that fact that he can play CB, KR/PR and possibly be a slot receiver is very intriguing.

I really don't want a CB until round 3 though. There should be quality talent at that point. I want OL and DL in the 1st 2 rounds.

SteelCrazy
03-19-2009, 10:56 PM
5'9" is very scary. The oline is a big need, but we all know te Steelers rarely go with need if a BPA, that is on their list, is available.

WoodleyofTroy
03-19-2009, 11:19 PM
The only way 5'9'' would be a concern, is if we already had a short corner starting on this Defense. But we don't. Ike Taylor is 6'2''. I don't see this is as a problem.

Snatch98
03-19-2009, 11:35 PM
I want Alphonso Smith. He's the best corner in the draft if he's a couple inches taller and if anyone watched the combine Mayock couldn't say enough about the guy nor could Sanders. He does everything right, his size is the only flag and if he can get vertical it won't make a difference.

Big fan of Alphonso Smith and I think he's there when we pick. We missed out on Revis. Smith is the guy or Vontae Davis but I don't think we get a crack at Davis. Darius Butler is the other corner worth taking a look at....

WoodleyofTroy
03-20-2009, 12:00 AM
I want Alphonso Smith. He's the best corner in the draft if he's a couple inches taller and if anyone watched the combine Mayock couldn't say enough about the guy nor could Sanders. He does everything right, his size is the only flag and if he can get vertical it won't make a difference.

Big fan of Alphonso Smith and I think he's there when we pick. We missed out on Revis. Smith is the guy or Vontae Davis but I don't think we get a crack at Davis. Darius Butler is the other corner worth taking a look at....

He knows how to find the ball. Imagine him back there as a nickel next year playing behind that front 7. You'd see a repeat of Chris Gamble in his rookie season when he collected 6 interceptions. He's definitely not a project either. He's ready right now.

Chucktownsteeler
03-20-2009, 07:34 AM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.

steelblood
03-20-2009, 07:57 AM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.

William Gay is 5'10" and not half the athlete that this kid is. Does one inch somehow give you complete confidence? Smith will be a better corner than Gay.

RuthlessBurgher
03-20-2009, 09:16 AM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.

William Gay is 5'10" and not half the athlete that this kid is. Does one inch somehow give you complete confidence? Smith will be a better corner than Gay.

Well, since Gay was a 5th round prospect and Smith is a 1st round prospect, you would think that Alphonso should be a better corner than Willie Gay. But I think with Ike, Gay, Deshea, and Roy Lewis on the roster, CB is not the same type of pressing need as some other spots were we have no real depth. We do need to draft a CB, but I would prefer not to do it in the 1st round (3rd or 4th maybe). If the team does decide to go this route, I will not be overly upset about it, but it would not be my first choice, personally.

Snatch98
03-20-2009, 01:43 PM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.


If you would read the article you would see that he doesn't have problems with the larger WR's unless he's going for the big play. I have no issue with him being 5'9. I'd like to see how many QB's are 5'9-5'10 in the NFL for comparison.

RuthlessBurgher
03-20-2009, 01:45 PM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.


If you would read the article you would see that he doesn't have problems with the larger WR's unless he's going for the big play. I have no issue with him being 5'9. I'd like to see how many QB's are 5'9-5'10 in the NFL for comparison.

I'll take a stab at that one. "What is none?", Alex.

williar
03-20-2009, 03:07 PM
I would love to have Alphonso Smith. In this pass happy league, you can never have enough great corners. That is why there's been such a premium on them over the last few years. I don't feel comfortable with what we have. Our unit has gone from very good to we'll see, with the loss of b-mac. I would love to see us draft a lineman too, but I definitely would not pass on a quality corner in the first if one falls.

Snatch98
03-20-2009, 03:22 PM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.


If you would read the article you would see that he doesn't have problems with the larger WR's unless he's going for the big play. I have no issue with him being 5'9. I'd like to see how many QB's are 5'9-5'10 in the NFL for comparison.

I'll take a stab at that one. "What is none?", Alex.


I know for a FACT that Deangelo Hall is 5'9 and he may not be now but was at one point considered one of the best corners in the NFL. I'm certain there are others. I just don't feel like checking at the moment.

EDIT: I just checked the last Pro-bowl Roster. Antoine Winfield is 5'9 and Cortland Finnegan is 5'10.

WoodleyofTroy
03-20-2009, 03:43 PM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.


If you would read the article you would see that he doesn't have problems with the larger WR's unless he's going for the big play. I have no issue with him being 5'9. I'd like to see how many QB's are 5'9-5'10 in the NFL for comparison.

I'll take a stab at that one. "What is none?", Alex.


I know for a FACT that Deangelo Hall is 5'9 and he may not be now but was at one point considered one of the best corners in the NFL. I'm certain there are others. I just don't feel like checking at the moment.

EDIT: I just checked the last Pro-bowl Roster. Antoine Winfield is 5'9 and Cortland Finnegan is 5'10.

He was responding to you putting "QB's"..not "CB's".

RuthlessBurgher
03-20-2009, 03:47 PM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.


If you would read the article you would see that he doesn't have problems with the larger WR's unless he's going for the big play. I have no issue with him being 5'9. I'd like to see how many QB's are 5'9-5'10 in the NFL for comparison.

I'll take a stab at that one. "What is none?", Alex.


I know for a FACT that Deangelo Hall is 5'9 and he may not be now but was at one point considered one of the best corners in the NFL. I'm certain there are others. I just don't feel like checking at the moment.

EDIT: I just checked the last Pro-bowl Roster. Antoine Winfield is 5'9 and Cortland Finnegan is 5'10.

You asked how many QB's are 5'9-5'10 in the NFL. I wasn't sure why you asked that, but the answer is none (now that Doug Flutie is retired, of course). I think the shortest QB in the league may be Seneca Wallace (who also plays some WR for Seattle now and then) at 5'11".

SteelCzar76
03-20-2009, 03:51 PM
I like Smith,...the kid is a playmaker. He probably has the best ball skills of any corner in this class. However,...i do think we would be better served trading up (For a Stud like Rey or Harvin) or down,...as opposed to staying put at 32 and taking any of this years crop of corners outside of Jenkins. (Whom we all know will not fall that far)

Personally i'm really high on Macho Harris whom reminds me of a more physical "young Rhonde Barber" with return skills. We play a great deal of zone,...and IMO he's perfectly suited for as much and can be selected later.

Snatch98
03-20-2009, 04:32 PM
5'9" is a definite liability. I say that is too much a risk.


If you would read the article you would see that he doesn't have problems with the larger WR's unless he's going for the big play. I have no issue with him being 5'9. I'd like to see how many QB's are 5'9-5'10 in the NFL for comparison.

I'll take a stab at that one. "What is none?", Alex.


I know for a FACT that Deangelo Hall is 5'9 and he may not be now but was at one point considered one of the best corners in the NFL. I'm certain there are others. I just don't feel like checking at the moment.

EDIT: I just checked the last Pro-bowl Roster. Antoine Winfield is 5'9 and Cortland Finnegan is 5'10.

He was responding to you putting "QB's"..not "CB's".

lol my bad. No idea why I put QB's. I obviously meant "DB's" considering the scope of the thread. :HeadBanger