Ihmir Smith-Marsette - WR, Iowa
By the numbers:
6'0", 181 pounds. 4.43 40-yard dash per pro day measurements.
2020: 25 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns in seven games played.
2019: 44 receptions for 722 yards and five touchdowns. 11 rushes for 108 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games played.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette is one of the better big-play threats in this year's wide receiver class. He accelerates quickly off the line of scrimmage, is fluid in and out of his breaks and has plus long speed. He only needs a little space in order to shoot through gaps and is a treat to watch run in the open field. Smith-Marsette tracks the ball well and should immediately offer some help for a team in the vertical passing department.
Versatility is also a major selling point for Smith-Marsette. He has return experience and should become a special teams ace early in his career, if nothing else. He shows promise as a route runner, and that will make or break his long-term projection. Smith-Marsette is a perfect option for creative play-callers to use on jet sweeps and pre-snap motion. He keeps defenses on their toes.
While Smith-Marsette is a fun player, there are some questions about his game. Whether he can develop a complete route tree — and run it effectively — is one. It's far from a certainty, although his fluid hips give him a better chance than others at expanding his arsenal. Concentration drops were an issue for him in college. Consistency and focus will be critical for Smith-Marsette, especially as he attempts to make a good first impression in the NFL.
A major concern in regards to Smith-Marsette's future is his difficulty when facing press coverage. He struggles when jammed at the line of scrimmage and doesn't do well with physicality in general. At just over 180 pounds, Smith-Marsette is underweight for a traditional "X" receiver that plays on the outside. He may never be a boundary wideout.
How Smith-Marsette fits with the Chiefs:
The Chiefs lost Sammy Watkins to free agency, as he joined the Baltimore Ravens. Demarcus Robinson returned on a one-year deal and the rest of the team's wide receiver picture remains the same. With Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman occupying the team's "Z" and slot positions, Smith-Marsette would be a depth piece in the passing game. On the other hand, he's a good fit with what the Chiefs like to do and could take Hardman's place should he be injured. Special teams coach Dave Toub would likely find a role for him early on.
Smith-Marsette is an explosive wide receiver with the ability to impact the game in a major way. He's a vertical threat with a special teams background, which are great calling cards to have in the modern NFL. He needs to prove that he can beat press and run crisp routes — two very important elements of a receiver's game. Smith-Marsette grades out as a fourth-round pick capable of being a very productive player if developed correctly. His potential is legitimate.