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NFL Draft Rewind: No. 24 Cam Smith

Cam Smith
Cam Smith (© Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL Draft kicks off with its opening round on Thursday in Kansas City, so Rivals is taking a look back at its projected first-round picks when they were high school prospects. We move on to our projected No. 24 – South Carolina defensive back Cam Smith, who was a four-star prospect in the 2019 class. Smith also is the 15th Rivals Camp Series alum among our top two dozen projected picks.


NFL DRAFT REWIND: No. 1 Bryce Young | No. 2 CJ Stroud | No. 3 Will Anderson | No. 4 Will Levis | No. 5 Tyree Wilson | No. 6 Jalen Carter | No. 7 Anthony Richardson | No. 8 Nolan Smith | No. 9 Peter Skoronski | No. 10 Christian Gonzalez | No. 11 Darnell Wright | No. 12 Jaxon Smith-NJigba | No. 13 Paris Johnson Jr. | No. 14 Broderick Jones | No. 15 Quentin Johnston | No. 16 Devon Witherspoon | No. 17 Joey Porter, Jr. | No. 18 Myles Murphy | No. 19 Anton Harrison | No. 20 Luka Van Ness | No. 21 Zay Flowers | No. 22 Deonte Banks | No. 23 Jordan Addison

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No. 24: DB Cam Smith, South Carolina

Where they were ranked: The Columbia (S.C.) Westwood standout was a four-star prospect who was No. 191 overall in the 2019 class, No. 18 at cornerback and second in the South Carolina state rankings behind five-star defensive end Zacch Pickens.

Recruitment: After the season opener in his senior year, Smith decided to stay home and committed to South Carolina over Georgia, Tennessee and others.

Biggest question: Smith was always a little handsy in high school especially during one-on-ones at elite events and Pro Football Focus had him with 10 flags this past season. Will NFL teams pick on him knowing he is prone to penalties?

Cam Smith
Cam Smith (Nick Lucero/

Memories: I remember seeing Smith at two really crucial events that were invaluable from an evaluation standpoint and those were the loaded Rivals Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta and the All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

At the All-American Bowl during practices, five-star receiver Jadon Haselwood got him a few times especially with double moves and four-star Cornelius Johnson made a tough catch against him while Smith was draped all over him. There was not much Smith could have done differently especially against Johnson as he was all over him and yet Johnson still made a nice catch.

In the game, Smith made a bunch of nice tackles including in the open field and I remember coming out of that event thinking Smith is as solid a cornerback as there is in that class even if he isn’t the best one. Even if the receiver made the catch against him, the four-star was always right around the ball and making it difficult.

A few months earlier in Atlanta, there were some hot and cold moments for Smith during 1-on-1s but coming out of that event we felt there was more good than bad in his performance at the Five-Star Challenge.

Jameson Williams, now with the Detroit Lions, burned Smith on one rep but to be fair Williams was maybe the best receiver at that event. But the four-star showed his speed and cover ability by being the only corner to stay with Trey Palmer on multiple reps.

Looking back, after those two events and collecting everything else, No. 18 at cornerback was too low for him. It’s easy to say that now but an easy argument could have been made to put Smith closer to No. 10 – or higher – at cornerback in that class.