Seahawks Insider

A closer look at Malcolm Smith

Post by Eric Williams on June 27, 2011 at 10:24 pm with 14 Comments »
June 27, 2011 10:24 pm
Seattle Seahawks linebacker and USC Product Malcolm Smith, upper right, flips over Arizona State running back Cameron Marshall, lower right, as quarterback Steven Threet looks to pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

This post is the beginning of a individual look at each one of the Seattle Seahawks draft picks leading up to (we hope) the beginning of training camp at the end of July.

And so we begin with USC product Malcolm Smith.

For Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, Smith is a known commodity because he coached him while with the Trojans. Although Smith is light for a linebacker at 6-foot, 226 pounds, Carroll believes that he can get up to about 240 pounds, and likes his ability to play with speed an agility at the linebacker position.

The team’s final pick, Smith was drafted 242nd overall in the seventh round.

“He has tremendous cover skills and an ability to blitz, and he’s a penetrating, run-through type of guy,” Carroll said. “He gets to 235 or 238, he’ll be just fine. I’m not worried about that. We want him to play with the speed that he has, and the suddenness that he brings.”

The skinny: Smith, who turns 22 on July 5, is a ridiculous athlete. He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at USC’s pro day, posted a vertical jump of 39 inches, leaped 10.5 feet in the broad jump and bench pressed 225 pounds 28 times. And oh, by the way – he can play, too.

He finished with three career touchdowns – two interceptions and a fumble returned for scores. Smith totalled 150 tackles in two years a starter at weak-side, outside linebacker for the Trojans.

Smith also served as a defensive captain at USC.

During is time at USC, Smith was diagnosed and treated for achalasia, a rare disease of the esophagus that hinders swallowing. Smith had surgery to correct the issue.

“I feel like I am almost back to where I was before,” he said. “I was at a place where it was really hard for me to do things. But where I am now, I am just grateful that there is a medical processes like that, or else it could have affected my development.”

All in the family: Malcolm’s brother is New York Giants receiver Steve Smith, who also played at USC before heading to the NFL. Malcolm said his brother helped him prepare for what he will face in his rookie season.

“He does a great job of trying to get better every day and making sure that he has put in the best effort he can and protecting his investment in himself as far as just getting the best out of himself,” Malcolm said about his brother. “I feel like I can take that from him and learn a lot of things from him.”

2011 expectations:
Smith should benefit from the fact that he already knows Seattle’s defensive system from his time playing for Carroll at USC. Expect him to get a chance to get on the field in the Seahawks’ third down packages as an outside backer.

Smith also gives Seattle someone to play Will if David Hawthorne has to slide inside to play Mike for Lofa Tatupu.

“He’s not built like a linebacker, he’s built like a skilled athlete,” Carroll said. “So, in nickel situations, he’ll be able to match up with anybody that we see.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to develop him more. He’s played in our system, so we know that he can do those things, and that’s why to us he is maybe more valuable than he is to anybody else.”

Check out video highlights of Smith in action below.

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider talks about Smith in this video link.

Leave a comment Comments → 14
  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    That would be great if smith was a diamond in the rough! I really think that this years draft, as well as 2010 will be some of our best drafts in several years!

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Can’t wait to see this guy pancaked by Okung, Carpenter, or Moffitt!

  3. Dukeshire says:

    With Herring (presumably) gone, there’s going to be an opportunity for him to get some time at Will. Being able to range from sideline to sideline is perfect for the weak-side in Carroll’s D. And he definitely has the range. He may also be able to play some Leo too if he struggles there. Although it sounds like they like Davis’ potential in that role.

    One thing about that highlight package that is bothersome are his angles to the ball-carrier. His speed may have been enough to make those shoe-string and ankle tackles in college but in the NFL, you’re hugging air. But that’s something he can hopefully learn and will have to work on. On the flip side, his gap-discipline was impressive. Aggressive with patience. This is a pipe dream, but the ‘Hawks starting LBs in ’13; Wright, Heater, Smith…? (I know, I know, that’s off-season fan gibberish. Still, as Bobby says, can’t hurt to dream.)

  4. Soggybuc says:

    Duke said “On the flip side, his gap-discipline was impressive. Aggressive with patience.”

    I noticed that as well. he is an interesting player posses CB speed and leaping ability but to big to cover outside while a bit small for an NFL LB. but then thats what said about Lofa.

  5. HawkfaninMT says:

    Anyone think he will attract his brother to the PNW? He could make a nice option opposite BMW and could be had for cheaper than usual as he recovers from the knee… Just a thought!

    I feel like the Hawks keep throwing 4th-5th round picks at players that can fill the Leo spot hoping they hit on someone for when Clemmons moves along. Thus far they have Wright and Davis that both seem like capable Leos. Hopefully one of them is our Leo of the future!

  6. Dare to dream!

  7. First I’d heard that he was Steve Smith’s brother. Kind of interesting.

    4.46 for a LB, jesus that’s fast.

  8. williambryan says:

    I think his patience leads to his problems with angles, however his speecd makes up for it. But he seemed to do his job first (stay home) until he knew where the ball was going on those outside runs. I think he will be great but I think he will have a hard time bringing down Steven Jackson and other similar backs, but that probably wont be part of his job description for awhile. I like him a lot and think he will turn out to be like Heater. Someone that nobody wanted but turned into a borderline pro bowler.

  9. williambryan says:

    Steve smith is a free agent. I bet there has to be some interest there right? I wouldn’t mind if there is :)

  10. bobbyj0708 says:

    I liked how he was able to come off a receiver leaving his zone and get on the next one coming into it. He was really quick. And I think it’s easier to be patient with your gap control when there aren’t any O-linemen making it to the second level. Not a knock on him but just an observation that the defensive line was doing a good job occupying blockers.

    But the kid looks very athletic, which is nice.

  11. Seventh-round pick. We’ll see if he can simply make the team.

    Curious why Will Herring is “presumably gone”? Herring could be back, Leroy Hill could come back, KJ Wright hasn’t made the team yet, and Malcom Smith is still a long-shot to make the team.

    (and if a seventh-rounder isn’t a long-shot to make the team, then our roster is weaker than I think it is.)

  12. Herring has said he’d like to find a team where he can start. Lotsa Hawks LBs have done that for a season or two. Good that Smith knows Carroll’s D-scheme when we’re talking about so many drafted players this season who probably won’t have more than an inkling when the season starts.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, klm is right. He’s made it known he wants to be a 3 down LB, or a chance to be one, and that’s not happening here. As much as I like Herring, his role can be filled by a younger player with a higher celling, IMO.

  14. rileyhammond says:

    I’m not much of a football fan but my cousin told me to look this guy up. I don’t think I have ever seen anybody this fast! I wonder what he could do if he hit the pavement as a sprinter on a running team. The rate he accelerates is ridiculous!

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