NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Orwin Smith, Georgia Tech

US PRESSWIRE

The next edition in our "Scouting Report" series is about a guy who nearly set the ACC record for yards per carry...

Orwin Smith

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 202 lbs

Strengths:

  • His straight-line speed. In space, Smith gets upfield and can break away from defenders. His shoulder injury, however, prevented him from posting an official 40-yard time at GT's Pro Day.
  • His ability to gain extra yards after contact, adept at breaking tackles with a stiff arm or cutback. Smith is naturally athletic, and has demonstrated balance and great upper body strength with the ball in his hands.
  • His versatility. Orwin caught many balls as a slot WR, displaying the ability to catch with his hands on a variety of routes. He also ran back kickoffs since he was a true freshman in 2009.

Weaknesses:

  • Smith is not a prototypically-sized back, and might need to add 10-20 lbs to survive a steady workload inside the tackles at the NFL level.
  • He is fast...but more of a long-strider, and not very shifty or with a noticeably quick first-step that the NFL values. Most of his big plays happen when he is already in motion or given ample space.
  • Needs to hold his blocks better at the next level, but certainly not inexperienced at it.
  • CPJ's spread option limits touches to the A-Backs sometimes, and those lack of reps may hurt the perception of a player of Orwin's ability.

System: In college, Smith played A-Back (similar to a wing back) in CPJ's spread-option offense. In his role, Smith averaged about 5-10 touches a game...mostly on the perimeter off a toss or pitch. Given his speed and ability to break tackles, Smith came 3 carries short (needed 200) to break the ACC record for yards per carry, averaging 9.3 during his career. With the run-heavy system, Smith was often asked to block LBs and Safeties on the perimeter. In the passing game, Smith was the beneficiary of several long seam routes down the middle of the field when play-action was working, but also showed good route-running on curls and slants in short range.

Most Memorable Moment: First offensive play against Kansas in 2011. With Roddy Jones going into quick motion left, Orwin took the counter to the right behind a pulling Ray Beno...AND WAS GONE. 95 yards and untouched, it broke the Tech record for longest rush from scrimmage. That day, Orwin would notch 100 yards rushing and receiving en route to 314 total yards and 2 TDs. The numbers were ridiculous...5 rushes for 157 yards, 2 catches for 108 yards, and 3 kickoff returns for 49 yards for good measure.

See the video here: Link.

Bottom Line: Orwin Smith is an intriguing prospect going into the draft. He has NFL-level tools and versatility, but not being able to participate in the NFL Combine or GT Pro Day, while recovering from shoulder surgery, hurt his chances to raise his draft stock into the draftable range. Being the first A-Back in CPJ's offense with draftable tools, he needed to show scouts his ability to run inside the tackles, In January, he did just that at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Los Angeles, CA (although not against the most prestigious all-star bowl competition)...leading the game in rushing, which included some big gainers on inside draw plays. Orwin Smith's ticket to an NFL roster may lie in his ability to contribute on Special Teams early, where he has experience returning kicks, and his speed and toughness are an asset. Being healthy is the key, and I think getting his surgery out of the way and fully recovered in time for NFL training camp might be the best long-term decision. I believe he tries out at an NFL camp and has a decent shot to at least make a practice squad.

FTRS Projection: Undrafted Free Agent

NFL Draft Scout Projection: Undrafted Free Agent

He provided some exciting plays on the Flats. Would you draft Orwin Smith? How would you use him on an NFL team?

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