Jerome Smith, RB, Syracuse

UDFA. Signed by the Falcons as a UDFA but was released in August and put on their practice squad. Was a redshirt junior. Is a good combination of size, speed, agility, and elusiveness, which should give him a good chance of success in a power running scheme or as a power component of a committee approach.

Positives: Good height and above-average bulk for the position — almost large enough to be a fullback. Above-average hand size. Runs with adequate speed and burst for his size. Above-average cutback vision. Fair agility and is able to hurdle would-be tacklers who go low on him. Can make people miss with subtle changes of direction – smoothly but not quickly. Very nice footwork for his size – quick feet and fair lateral movement. Shows good power and runs with good body lean. Keeps his legs churning through contact, with his shoulder pushing the pile. Good balance after contact. Adequate hands. Above-average vertical leap.

Negatives: Poor track speed for the position, and below-average even for his size. Surprisingly low upper body strength for his size. Pretty much strictly a north-south runner without the quickness to change directions, and doesn’t have the speed to bounce runs outside. Below-average ball-security technique, and tends to hold the ball too low through the line. A shoulder injury in his freshman year limited him to two games in 2010.

Projection: No need to draft him in dynasty rookie drafts, but keep an eye on him. If he lands in a situation where he could contribute as a power runner, he would be worth picking up and holding onto for a while.

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