Great linear athlete with plus explosiveness and long speed. A natural in the deep areas of the field, as he can get behind defenses with consistency and is a habitual home run hitter. Great with the ball in his hands on schemed touches as well as in the return game. Can make an impact on special teams day 1.
Frame is little light for my liking. Releases are going to be limiting for him at the next level, likely won’t ever be able to line up at X consistently. Needs to refine his route running in the short and intermediate levels of the field. If he will be exclusively a deep threat Z at the next level, he needs to work on his ball tracking and high pointing.
At 6’1, 175, he is light for an NFL receiver. Is more of a linear athlete than a quick twitch, lateral agility player. As a result of both of those statements, he is best served avoiding press coverage at the Z or in the slot. His route running could be cleaned up in the stem phase, he works best after stacking the DB which is why he works best in the deep portion. Needs to work on ball tracking as he’s lost deep pass on more than one occasion. Adequate hands, but is not someone you want to throw 50/50 balls to. He projects best as a developmental Z receiver for a vertical passing offense which already has established receivers ahead of him who are able to line up in different positions. He also provides day 1 return man ability.
A former track athlete, Smith-Marsette's acceleration and long speed is clear to see in his film. His lateral agility and quick twitch ability is fine for the NFL level, but nothing special to me in comparison to his linear explosiveness. He has a lighter frame and that does have an impact on his play strength when he needs to be physical.
Big Play Ability
Foot quickness isnt the issue on releases, it's inexperienced hands, minimal functional strength, and being sub that limit him in this arena. He works best in the deep plane of the field. Go's, Posts, and works intermediate off of threatening deep.
Adequate hands but not someone who will consistently make circus catches away from his frame. Is a good ball tracker down the field when he has yards of separation from his routes, but will not separate in air.
Toughness isn't a mindset issue, it's a size/play strength issue. Rarely wins with physicality, thats just not his game. Is good with the ball in his hands, as shown by his return ability on special teams.
I think he will have value as a kickoff returner immediately in the NFL. Has good instincts as a ball carrier to weave through traffic on screens and during returns.