Despite his lack of ideal height, Smith is a playmaker.
It's again time to continue on with our draft scouting reports. And that means it's time to take a closer look at one of the cornerbacks that could potentially entice Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland on draft day. That cornerback is Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith.
So I enlisted the help of 'WakeJake' from Blogger So Dear - SBN's great Wake Forest blog. Below are some of Smith's scouting combine measurables and then Jake's thoughts on the Wake Forest cornerback.
Height: 5'9" / Weight: 193
40: 4.53 / Arm: 31 1/2" / Broad: 10'9"
Where can I even being with Alphonso Smith? He is such a fun player to watch on the field and has a great swagger off the field as well. I am a senior at Wake Forest, so I have watched almost every one of his games live as I travel with the Deacs. As you probably know, Phonz is undersized compared to the average NFL corner, standing at 5'9" and weighing in at 193 pounds. However, he is relentless in coverage and just has a nose for the ball. Whether he was matched up with the 6'6" Greg Carr of Florida State, Heyward-Bey of Maryland or Eron Riley, the great receiver from Duke, Phonz ultimately came down with the ball and the win. (The Duke INT was a game-winner). He is the all-time ACC leader in career interceptions. The only knock against Alphonso's play is that he sometimes gambles a little too much and always tries to make the big play. To our surprise, he didn't get burned as much as you would think considering his risky play. Smith can make up a lot of ground in little time and just always seems to be around the ball. He also blocked several punts for the Deacs over the last couple years.
Since he is the all-time ACC leader in INTs, he has had several great moments at Wake. However, there is one moment that stands out from the rest. In his junior season we were getting destroyed at home against Maryland. They had the ball inside the 5 yard-line in the 3rd quarter and a TD there would have ended the game. For some reason, the Terps decided to throw it to Phonz's side, where he picked it and returned it 99 yards for six. That sparked a crazy comeback and we ended up winning in overtime.
Here are some more highlights.
Alphonso is a great guy on and off the field and will succeed where ever he ends up. He also has quite the swagger off the field. One of my favorite Alphonso quotes was to Houston Nutt, the coach at Mississippi:
"I was telling Houston, 'Why are you bringing all that goofy offense into our stadium?'" Smith recalled. "He was saying, 'We're coming at you No. 2.' So this is what I said to him. I said, 'Well if that's your game plan, you won't be at Ole Miss too long.' He just laughed at me."
Here is a great article that will tell you more about his personality and story.
In the NFL, I feel that Alphonso will be ready to produce sooner rather than later. He may struggle in the first few months as he adjusts to the overall skill level of NFL receivers and a new defensive scheme. However, his relentless pursuit of the ball and desire to prove that he is elite despite his size will lead him to a successful NFL career. If I have learned one thing about him, it is never bet against Zo.
I would like to sincerely thank Jake from Blogger So Dear for taking some time to put this great report on Alphonso together for us.