Instant analysis: Reggie Smith
The 49ers will try the Smith at cornerback first
The 49ers will try the Smith at cornerback first

Posted Apr 27, 2008


With the 12th pick of Round 3, the No. 75 overall in the draft, the 49ers selected Oklahoma defensive back Reggie Smith. Here’s a scouting report on Smith with all the highlights you need to know about the newest 49er.

The numbers Stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 197 pounds … Had 36 starts in 39 games at Oklahoma … Had eight career interceptions, three fumble recoveries and 22 deflected passes … Had 166 career tackles to rank 16th in school history … Had 1,448 all-purpose career yards, averaging 21.9 yards on 33 kickoff returns and 7.3 yards on 67 punt returns.

The skinny: An instinctive defender who plays with physicality and loves to hit, Smith is an assignment-true cornerback who has the versatility to play safety, a position that might be his home in the pros because of his lack of deep speed to run with the quicker wideouts. Smith produced on a regular basis in college and has a nose for the football but will need to work on his one-on-one coverage skills at the NFL level. His skill set may be best suited to safety in the pros, but his success at cornerback in college will earn him a look at that position with the 49ers. Coming out after his junior season, Smith may take some time to develop, but his experience in college says he’s ready for the pros.

SFI’s take: The 49ers are always looking for physical players to upgrade their secondary, and Smith certainly fits that description. The 49ers want to try him at cornerback first because of his ability to match up with the physical receivers in the NFC West, but it's an added bonus he has the skills that could easily transition to safety. His rangy skills may quickly land him a role in secondary coverage packages.

Expert analysis: “Showed smooth athletic movement, good feet and supple hips, but I didn't see a sudden explosive movement or close to the ball. A prototype cover two corner or safety. Tough enough, but far from a head-hunter. Injured toe late and didn't run at the Indy combine. Good zone awareness. Not as quick or fast as I had originally expected, but I liked his size, playing instincts, and ball skills. Return ability and special teams play are a added plus. Draft consideration round 2-3.” – former NFL scout Tom Marino, a 35-year veteran talent evaluator

Smith says: “I think I’m going to start as a corner and see if that works, and if not, I’ll move to safety. I’m happy either way. Either one is fine with me. I can play corner, safety and nickel if I need to. I did kick and punt return (in college) too. As long as I can help out.”



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