His 20 catches in 2009 went for 679 yards, with all five touchdowns being of 60 yards of more. He followed that up with a 39-catch, 603-yard, five-touchdown effort, including a season-ending 10 receptions and 141 yards against Arkansas-Monticello in front of several NFL and CFL scouts.
Smith actually began his career at Alabama-Birmingham, catching six passes for 33 yards as true freshman in 2006. He transferred to Southeastern Louisiana for the 2007 season after an off-field incident, but failed to meet academic requirements so his only catch (for eight yards) came in the season opener.
His transfers from UAB to SELU to USA isn't the most stressful thing happening in Smith's life in recent years -- he could not contact his parents for a month after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005. After that situation, being a rookie in an NFL training camp as a mid-to-late round draft pick shouldn't be overwhelming.
Strengths: Tall, big-bodied receiver who dominated at a lower level of competition. Gets separation with upper-body strength and quick feet on comeback routes. Strides past corners after the catch, especially after double move. Uses height and vertical to high-point passes over smaller defenders. Stiff-arms oncoming tacklers. Runs all of the routes on the tree. Has some wiggle after the catch to make first man miss. Extends long arms to snatch high and wide throws. Engulfs small corners as a runner or downfield blocker.
Weaknesses: Lacks elite straight-line speed and elusiveness after the catch. Will body-catch some passes when facing the quarterback and his hands are not wholly reliable bringing in the ball while going to the sideline. Needs to tighten up his cuts. Must adjust to playing veteran corners at the next level and prove he is willing to work hard as a blocker against more physical defenders. Bounced around a bit during his collegiate career, some off-field concerns."
Courtney Smith is pretty raw, coming from South Alabama, and has a pretty sketchy past.
Nevertheless, this is a 6.4/225 Wide Out with outstanding Size + Strength, surprising Speed, excellent Burst off the Line, and some Navigational skills. He's been booted out of TWO schools ~ one for an off-field incident, the other for grades ~ but one might make allowances for an emotionally trying recent history: His parents were MIA for a MONTH, after Hurricane Katrina, in 2005.
He really started to pull things together, after 2008, and his last two years have been without incident...and have been spectacular.
I think this kid has enormous upside, and yet is likely to go in the very late Rounds.
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