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Name: Alphonso Smith 
Compares to: Ahmad Carroll (Arkansas/2004/Rd 1/GB)
College: Wake Forest     Number: 2
Height: 5-09   Weight: 193
Position: CB  Pos2: FS  Class/Draft Year: rSr/2009
40 Low: 4.37
  40 Time: 4.47
   40 High: 4.58

Projected Round: 1-2   High: Late 1  Low: Mid-late 2  Stock: 
Rated number 4 out of 223 CB's     34 / 2485 TOTAL
Combine Invite: Yes
Height: 5090
Weight: 193

PD3X AKA "Official"
40 Yard Dash (ET):

40 Yard Dash (HH): 4.47
20 Yard (ET): 2.65
20 Yard (HH): 2.60
10 Yard (ET): 1.60
10 Yard (HH): 1.50
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 13
Vertical Jump: 34
Broad Jump: 10'05"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.38
3-Cone Drill: 7.09

Dates: 03/23/09
Hand: 9 3/4  Arm: 31 1/2

Height: 5090
Weight: 193

40 Yard Dash (HH): 
20 Yard (HH): 
10 Yard (HH): 
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 
Vertical Jump: 32
Broad Jump: 
20 Yrd Shuttle: 
3-Cone Drill: 

 Data Scout Notes: 1st M/WC1st

Post-Draft Outlook:
A closer look at the Broncos' picks: Round 2/37 -- Alphonso Smith, CB, 5-9, 193, Wake Forest...Smith fell down draft boards because of his height, but the Broncos had a first-round grade on him. They traded their 2010 first-round pick to Seattle to get Smith, the ACC's all-time leader in interceptions. Smith can come in right away and play in nickel packages, and perhaps push Andre' Goodman for a starting spot. Both of Denver's projected starting cornerbacks are more than 30 years old, and Smith is the future at the position. - by The Sports Xchange
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Smith is just the third player this century to amass 20 or more interceptions in a career, joining Jim Leonhard of Wisconsin (21, 2001-04) and Mitch Meeuwsen of Oregon State (20, 2001-04), and only the second in Atlantic Coast Conference annals to reach that lofty mark (Dre' Bly of North Carolina had 20, 1996-98). Only nine other players in the history of college football (all levels) have produced more interceptions in a career than Smith.

What makes Smith even more valuable at his position is his ability to make big plays in the backfield. Few cornerbacks, much less ones that stand just 5-feet-9 can boast having nine sacks, 23.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and eight forced fumbles on those hits during a career. He also adds to his resume as a capable kickoff returner, averaging 20.7 yards for his career, along with using his superb leaping ability and timing to block five kicks during his time at Wake Forest.

Smith was a standout player at quarterback and defensive back during his days at Pahokee High School, where he was the runner-up for state Player of the Year honors as a senior. He helped the Blue Devils to a 13-1 record and the Class 2B state championship, earning MVP honors in the state title game, throwing a 58-yard touchdown strike to current Deacon teammate Demir Boldin in that contest.

As a quarterback, Smith threw for 2,400 yards and 32 touchdowns and also rushed for 640 yards and six scores in 2003. He was responsible for 38 touchdowns as a senior, including scores on interception, punt, kickoff and fumble returns. He added 27 tackles, a sack and four interceptions as a cornerback, earning first-team All-State honors. He also played in the Outback Bowl and the Palm Beach All-Star Game. In addition to football, he was a starter on the basketball team.

Smith came to Wake Forest with high school teammates D.J. Boldin and Antonio Wilson, spending the 2004 season performing on the scout team. He made an immediate impact during 2005 spring camp, emerging as the team's starting left cornerback. He would earn consensus Freshman All-American and All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors that season. He placed fourth on the team with 60 tackles (52 solos), adding two sacks and eight stops for loss, along with a forced fumble. He picked off three passes, deflected nine throws and blocked a pair of kicks.

Smith started the first three games at left cornerback before coming off the bench for the rest of the 2006 campaign. He posted 48 tackles (37 solos) and led the ACC cornerbacks with four sacks and 8.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He batted down eight passes and had another three interceptions. He also returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.

In 2007, Smith garnered national recognition with his first All-American award. The All-ACC first-team pick ranked tied for second in the nation with eight interceptions, as he returned three of them for touchdowns, one shy of the NCAA single-season record. He added 44 tackles with three sacks and led the conference with four forced fumbles. He also had 10 pass deflections and blocked a kick for the third consecutive season.

In his own version of the game show, "Can You Top This," Smith did so as a senior. The consensus All-American tied for third in the nation with seven interceptions in 2008, adding a team-high thirteen pass deflections. He averaged 22.0 yards as a kickoff returner, blocked a kick and caused two fumbles. He was credited with 37 tackles (28 solos) while starting all 13 games while shuttling between free safety and left cornerback.


Positives: Excellent ball skills, closing on the ball quickly and watching it into his hands. Can adjust to ball over his shoulder. Able to return interceptions for significant yardage. Very good speed to stay with receivers down the sideline, along with fluid hips and excellent quickness to handle short-area responsibilities. Reads the quarterback well, and can undercut throws to make a play. Very confident on an island, and won't back down even if giving up size to his opponent. Able to get position on receivers in order to cut off routes. Not shy about contact, and will attempt to wrap tackle in the open or cut if needed. Can close down the sideline on outside runs. Tries to strip the ball when part of a gang tackle. Got touches as a receiver on quick screens, and could be a return option.

Negatives: Short with only an adequate build and strength. Gives up several inches in height to outside receivers who can take advantage of him in jump balls down the sideline and red-zone situations. Can get vertical quickly, but isn't strong enough to out-fight bigger receivers for the ball. Struggles to get off decent receiver run blocks in space. Not a great one-on-one open-field tackler. Best as a zone corner or in the slot, as he may have problems jamming physical receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Compares To: DRE' BLY, ex-Denver -- Smith is an extraordinary pass thief with great timing and recovery speed. He plays taller than his size indicates, but is not strong enough to challenge more physical receivers, especially in press coverage. He is best suited to be a zone corner or operate in the slot in man coverage as he will get soft on you if bounced around by bigger blockers.

 Scouting Report

GRADE: 6.10

Body Structure: Smith has a short frame with adequate muscle tone, but possesses good arm length and large, natural hands to secure the interception. He has a tight waist and hips, but lacks lower-body thickness (skinny ankles and calves).

Athletic Ability: Smith has above-average foot speed and ability to change direction. He lacks strength and can be washed out by a small receiver blocking. He is very smooth and fluid in his movements and displays outstanding hands for the interception, but even with his good leaping ability, he will get pinned by taller receivers during jump balls. He flips his hips and mirrors a receiver on deep routes, but is better suited for the slot in a man scheme or playing in a pure zone scheme, as he lacks any sort of physicality to produce impact hits or jam the receivers at the line. He has very good body control elevating to come down with the pass when uncontested and displays the burst to close on plays in front of him and the second gear to recover when a receiver gets behind him. GRADE: 6.6

Football Sense: Smith has good vision for the action in front of him, showing good timing to disrupt. He easily digests complicated plays, but gets a bit reckless in his play (seems to be caught up more in going for the interception rather than covering the receiver). He can be soft and back away from a confrontation and while durable, he is not the type that could play with pain at the next level. He thinks on his feet and has no problem handling different assignments. He just needs to control his emotion, as it does get the best of him on occasion (ejected from the 2006 Clemson game for throwing a punch and was then benched for most of the year as an attitude adjustment). GRADE: 6.4

Character: Smith plays with emotion and can get in trouble with the coaches and referees. He is an engaging person who presents himself well off the field, but he has a chip on his shoulder that might not go over well with NFL veterans. GRADE: 5.5

Competitiveness: Smith plays with good aggression until confronted and then will shy away. Shows good mental toughness when he doesn't let his emotions get the best of him. He could play nickel back or zone corner due to lack of size, but he is never going to be confused for an impact hitter. GRADE: 6.0

Work Habits: Smith is a good worker who had maturity issues earlier in his career, but did eventually buy into the program and football is very important to him. He takes well to hard coaching and is a scrappy type in the locker room who won't hesitate to order his teammates to fall in if necessary. GRADE: 6.0

GRADE: 6.63

Key and Diagnostic Skills: Short but has the vision, instincts and awareness to always get to the ball. He lacks the strength to prevent from getting bounced around, but gives every effort to make the play. He does a good job of anticipating the quarterback when playing in the zone and generally makes good reads and adjustments to flow to the ball. He will try to reroute receivers with a press, but he lacks the strength to be too effective. His ability to quickly identify his keys and react to the play makes him look taller than his size. He has the ability to distinguish between pass-run with no concern that he will be fooled by play action. His timing and feel for the ball in flight gets him most of his success when making plays on the ball. GRADE: 7.0

Man Coverage Ability: Smith is a natural ball thief with outstanding feet and ability to mirror and adjust to the receiver's movements. He can stick his hands in the face of his man to impede his opponent's vision of the ball in flight and does a very nice job of planting, redirecting and flipping his hips. He is equally efficient playing the trail, cover or cushion, and rarely allows cushion on the route. GRADE: 7.3

Zone Coverage Ability: Smith has very loose hips, but he will open up too early, especially when challenged with double moves. He lacks the upper-body strength or solid hand placement skills to reroute receivers. He does show good comprehension of zone concepts and has the range and suddenness (too sudden at times) in his movements to attack plays in front of him or switch off on his assignment in the deep part of the secondary. He can play in off coverage, but is still better in man-to-man action. GRADE: 6.4

Backpedal Skills: Smith shows the ability to change direction and is usually in good control coming out of his backpedal. He has the natural feet to be continuous in his movements and even though his speed will let him get away with it, he is never sloppy nor takes extra steps coming out of his breaks. GRADE: 6.7

Ball Reaction Skills: Smith has the vision and timing to get an excellent break on the ball. He shows good courage going for the ball at its high point, but will get a little soft vs. more physical receivers. He compensates for a lack of strength with his timing and foot quickness to step in front of the receiver. With his excellent hand/eye coordination, he reminds some of Ronde Barber for the way he breaks on the ball. GRADE: 7.3

Range/Recovery: Smith has good recovery speed and the range, along with the ability to cover ground while the ball is in the air. He takes good angles to the ball and has no problems when trailing or running on the hip of his coverage assignment. He can cover up mistakes with his recovery speed and looks just as fast in pads as he did in workouts. GRADE: 6.4

Jumping Ability: Smith gets good elevation in his jumps, but can get beaten to the ball by the taller receivers. He has outstanding ability to track the ball in flight, doing what all great ball thieves do -- shut out his surroundings to concentrate on the ball. He sacrifices his body to compete, but won't win too many battles there vs. more physical and bigger receiver. He has exceptional body control through his elevation, exciting the crowd with his ability to adjust in the air, thanks to the way he times the ball in flight. GRADE: 7.0

Hands: Smith is a natural hands catcher with big mitts for a little man (hands measured 9 5/8-inches, bigger than some of Wake's offensive linemen). He is not the type that has to rely on his body to catch the ball and looks very natural extending and plucking the pigskin away from his frame. His hands are that of a receiver's quality, evident by his conference record 21 interceptions and 40 pass breakups. GRADE: 8.0

Run Defense: The effort is there, but he gets bounced around and is just an adequate tackler who offers little in run force. He lacks good tackling technique and does not always get himself in position to make the play. He needs to use his hands better to keep blockers off his body, but even if his hands were active, he still lacks the strength to wrap and secure (more of a grab or drag-down type). GRADE: 5.1

Tackling Ability: Smith is just an adequate tackler. He will go low and wrestle down receivers, but ballcarriers are simply going to run through him. He can hope to knock the outside runner out of bounds, but he hits with such little thud, a mosquito bite is more painful. GRADE: 5.1

Compares To: DRE' BLY, ex-Denver -- Smith is an extraordinary pass thief with great timing and recovery speed. He plays taller than his size indicates, but is not strong enough to challenge more physical receivers, especially in press coverage. He is best suited to be a zone corner or operate in the slot in man coverage as he will get soft on you if bounced around by bigger blockers.


 Career Notes

Smith started 40 of 50 games at Wake Forest, recording 189 tackles (153 solos) with nine sacks for minus 59 yards, 23.5 stops for losses of 98 yards and eight forced fumbles...His 23.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage are the most in Atlantic Coast Conference history by a cornerback...Holds the school all-time records with 40 pass deflections and 61 passes defended...His 21 interceptions topped the old school career record of 17 by Ronnie Burgess (1981-84) and A.J. Greene (1985-88), as they also surpassed the previous ACC record of 20 by Dre' Bly of North Carolina (1996-98)...Became just the third player this century to amass 20 or more interceptions in a career, ranking 10th in NCAA history with those 21 thefts...His four interception returns for touchdowns broke the school career record and tied the ACC mark first set by Randy Neal of Virginia (1991-94) and matched by Victor Harris of Virginia Tech (2005-08)...His 254 yards gained on those pass thefts rank second on the school career record list, topped only by Aaron Curry (278, 2005-08), and placed seventh in ACC history behind Curry, John Talley of Duke (395; 2003-06), Pat Chester of Virginia (296; 1978-82), Harris (278; 2005-08), Tom Brown of Maryland (275; 1960-62) and Willie Clay of Georgia Tech (264, 1988-91)... Smith's three interception returns for touchdowns in 2007 are one shy of the NCAA single-season record of four scores by Deltha O'Neal of California (1999)...Also 24 punts for 182 yards and a touchdown, adding 352 yards on 17 kickoff returns (20.7 avg) and four yards on a rushing attempt while blocking five kicks...His 100-yard interception return vs. Maryland in 2007 is a school record...His eight interceptions in 2007 set another Wake Forest annual record.

 2008 Season

Earned All-American first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp, the Foot-ball Writers Association of America and Pro Football Weekly, adding second-team accolades from Rivals.com...One of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, given annually to the nation's best defensive player...Added All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team honors...Started all thirteen games, seeing action at both left cornerback and safety...Led the conference and tied for the national title with 20 passes defended, as he deflected thirteen tosses and intercepted seven others (tied for third in the NCAA) for 33 yards in returns...Caused two fumbles and made 2.5 stops for losses of 5 yards while posting 37 tackles (28 solos)...Gained 108 yards on 21 punt returns (5.1 avg) and 110 yards on five kickoff returns (20.7 avg)...Blocked one kick and even got a chance to carry the ball, gaining 4 yards on one rushing attempt vs. Navy...Helped the team rank 12th in the nation in pass defense (172.54 ypg) and passing efficiency defense (104.96 rating).

 2007 Season

First-team All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and third-team accolades from the Associated Press...
All-ACC first-team pick...Started all thirteen games at left cornerback, registered 44 tackles (36 solos) with three sacks for minus 20 yards, 4.5 stops for losses totaling 24 yards and a QB pressure...Caused a league-high four fumbles, as he deflected eight passes and blocked one punt...Gained 112 yards on six kickoff returns (18.7 avg)...Ranked tied for second in the nation with a school season-record eight interceptions, tying another ACC mark by returning those pass thefts for 166 yards and three touchdowns, just one shy of the NCAA annual record four interception returns for scores by Deltha O'Neal of California in 1999.

 2006 Season

Started the first three games vs. Syracuse, Duke and Connecticut at left cornerback, coming off the bench the rest of the season...Registered 48 tackles (37 solos) with four sacks for minus 30 yards and 8.5 stops for losses of 41 yards...Blocked a punt that he returned 34 yards for a touchdown and caused one fumble...Intercepted three passes for 23 yards in returns and deflected eight others...Returned five kickoffs for 115 yards (23.0 avg)...Was ejected from the Clemson game for fighting.

 2005 Season

First-team Freshman All-American selection by College Football News, ESPN.com, and Scout.com, adding second-team honors from The Sporting News and Rivals.com...Was selected to The Sporting News' ACC All-Freshman Team...Led the nation's cornerbacks
With eight stops for losses totaling 28 yards while starting all eleven games at left corner-back...Had two sacks for minus 9 yards, a forced fumble and 60 tackles (52 solos)...Had two blocked punts that he returned for a total of 40 yards, adding a 15-yard kickoff return and three interceptions for 32 yards in returns, including a touchdown...Also deflected nine passes.

 2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

 Injury Report

No injuries reported.

 Agility Tests

Combine: 4.47 in the 40-yard dash...1.50 10-yard dash...2.60 20-yard dash...4.38 20-yard shuttle...7.09 three-cone drill...34-inch vertical jump...10'5" broad jump...Bench pressed 225 pounds 13 times...31 1/2-inch arm length...9 3/4-inch hands.

 High School

Attended Pahokee (Fla.) High School, playing football for head coach Leroy Foster... Standout at quarterback and defensive back...Runner-up for state Player of the Year honors as a senior...Helped the Blue Devils to a 13-1 record and the Class 2B state championship, earning MVP honors in the state title game, throwing a 58-yard touchdown strike to Deacon teammate Demir Boldin in that contest...As a quarterback, Smith threw for 2,400 yards and 32 touchdowns and also rushed for 640 yards and six scores in 2003...Responsible for 38 touchdowns as a senior, including scores on interception, punt, kickoff and fumble returns...Added 27 tackles, a sack and four interceptions as a cornerback, earning first-team All-State honors. He also played in the Outback Bowl and the Palm Beach All-Star Game...In addition to football, he was a starter on the basketball team.


History major...Nicknames are Zo and Prime...Is a graduate of the National Football Foundation's Play It Smart program...Son of Sharon Smith and Alphonso Smith, Sr...
Born 10/20/85 in Pahokee, Florida.

 Player Statistics


 Draft Scout Player News
11/12/12 - CB Alphonso Smith was waived by the Lions Monday. Smith, who was signed by the Lions on Oct. 18, saw limited action in four games.
10/18/12 - CB Alphonso Smith is back. Down to two healthy cornerbacks, the Lions re-signed Smith, who spent the last two seasons in Detroit. Smith was among the final cuts after training camp, despite having eight interceptions in two seasons. "Understanding is the best thing in the world," he said. "To players, this is a sport. To others it's a business. I understand that. At the end of the day, the Detroit Lions had to do the best thing for the Detroit Lions." Smith could see action on Monday. Chris Houston and Jonte Green were the only available cornerbacks as of Thursday.
01/01/12 - CB Alphonso Smith had been playing well in place of CB Aaron Berry (shoulder), but Smith was benched early in the third quarter after giving up a 58-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson.
 Draft Scout External News
Note: External news links will open in a new browser window. Draft Scout provides this information as extra research on the above player and cannot guarantee links will always work due to newspapers changing publishing links and stories at any time. We will not post any external links that make you to sign up for membership at posting, unless that outlet changes it's service over time, all should be clean, direct news links.

 09.04.21 - Smith is turning corner
 09.04.18 - Height isnít everything at cornerback
 09.04.08 - CB Smith has the picks
 09.02.18 - Draft prospects get their chance
 08.12.19 - Big stars donít guarantee anything
 08.12.18 - 'Typical Alphonso'
 08.12.01 - 2008 All-ACC Football Teams - Media
 07.12.30 - Meineke Car Care Bowl Digest


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by Scout Dave Te' Thomas, NFLScouting, NFLDraftScout.com
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