Round 5 – Pick 162 overall
Cameron Smith, linebacker – USC
Weirdly enough, when watching Cameron Smith play at USC on game tape, there weren’t a lot of “WOW” moments. He won’t awe people with his athleticism and he won’t impress with his speed or acceleration.
However, there is still a lot to like about Smith. He fits well into schemes as a point-of-attack linebacker who is smart in recognizing plays and finding the ball carrier. He shows a high level of football intelligence, which is a great trait for someone who will likely play on special teams to start out.
There is plenty of room for Smith to grow and develop with the Minnesota Vikings and there is thankfully no reason to rush him along. With all three starters from the last two seasons returning, that provides plenty of time for him to adjust to the NFL level.
A solid tackler, if Smith sees action on defense or special teams, he should be relied on to stay between the ball carrier and ht end zone, but won’t likely beat out any of the current starters for a regular role. But the team did need depth at linebacker, so the decision makes sense.
NFL.com had Cameron Smith as a fourth to fifth round pick while CBS Sports show him as their 206th best prospect and 18th best linebacker, once again creating a pretty big gap in talent evaluation.