The Warriors wide receiver got plenty of reps as a pass catcher on the islands over the years. How could he contribute in the NFL?
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Good hands and experience could go a long way.
The history of Hawaii football is littered with quality pass catchers and Jared Smart will leave the islands having etched his name onto that list despite the program’s recent up and downs.
A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Smart came to the islands as a junior college transfer and became a vital cog in Nick Rolovich’s run-and-shoot offense right away, finishing the 2019 season as one of three Warriors wide receivers with at least 1,000 yards as the team won its first West division crown. While 2020 wasn’t as eye-popping on the stat sheet, Smart still led Hawaii in receptions; last fall, he averaged nearly 16 yards per catch.
Now, only the jump from the college ranks to the pro ranks remains. What does Smart bring to the table that could help his name get called at this year’s NFL Draft?
Measurables (taken from Dane Brugler and DraftScout.com)
Height – 5′ and 11 1/4″Weight – 189 pounds40-yard time – 4.62 seconds10-yard split time – 1.65 secondsArm length – 30 1/2″Hand size – 9 3/4″Wingspan – 75 1/4″Vertical jump – 36″Broad jump – 9′ and 11″ (or 119″)Shuttle time – 4.12 seconds3-cone drill time – 6.93 secondsBench press – 4 reps
Two things that translated in the different offenses Smart learned over the past three years are his balance and his hands. According to NFL Draft Buzz, that enables him to “make acrobatic catches look easy”, as seen in the highlights above. He’s also capable of making a defender miss in space, which bodes well for any team that envisions him as a possession-type receiver (interestingly, Smart compared himself to former Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin during an interview with The Spun with this in mind).
Smart also has some experience in returning kicks and punts, as well, which could bolster his chances of sticking on a pro roster.
The most immediate concern about Smart is that his physical profile is more fine than one with any outrageous traits: His vertical, for instance, is comparable to recent NFL Combine participants Garrett Wilson and Jalen Tolbert, but there’s a significant gap in their 40-yard times and 10-yard splits.
And while he played mostly on the outside with Hawaii, the lack of size may limit where he can be used in a pro offense (according to Pro Football Focus, however, he had 259 snaps out of the slot in 2021, so Smart isn’t unprepared to play inside).
Smart has a good foundation to stick as a role player, but with a litany of high-end wide receiver prospects ahead of him in this year’s class, he’s most likely to sign somewhere as an undrafted free agent.
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