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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa

New Jersey native Ihmir Smith-Marsette looks like he could be a solid Day 3 value pick. Nick Falato breaks down his tape.

WR IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Class: Senior  
School: Iowa


The New Jersey product was a three-star recruit coming out of Weequahic High School, and he was born and raised in Newark.

Iowa will never be mistaken for a skilled-position factory, but Smith-Marsette is set to debunk that trend due to his explosive nature and natural playmaking ability.

Smith-Marsette finished his time at Iowa with 110 catches on 203 targets for 1,587 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns, and 34 carries for 247 yards and four touchdowns.

He lined up mainly as an outside receiver at Iowa, but he also has slot appeal. He ran a 4.43 at Iowa’s pro day while reportedly running a 1.44 10-yard-split which aligns with his impressive athletic ability and burst.

Notables

Smith-Marsette injured his ankle towards the end of the 2020 Wisconsin game after performing a celebratory touchdown front flip. He had seven catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns in that win. The injury held him out of the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

He also received an OWI (operating while intoxicated) infraction in November of 2020.

Traits

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A fast, explosive, offensive weapon with good height, adequate weight, and solid overall length. Smith-Marsette is one of the more explosive threats Kirk Ferentz, and the Iowa Hawkeyes’ have fielded over the last several years. Iowa was aware of his game-changing ability, and they used him on a lot of designed touches like tunnel screens, jet sweeps, end-arounds, etc.

Smith-Marsette averaged 14.4 yards per catch in the Big-10, and he showed a lot of impressive receiver traits outside of his athleticism. His release off the line of scrimmage is solid--it could be better, but his ability to stack and get behind defenders was evident.

He also has good nuance to his route running. Sticks hard on the opposite foot, with deceptive upper body movements, to fool and/or shake defenders.

He has very good burst in and out of breaks, whether that be 90-degree breaks or more obtuse ones; very fluid with his movements and plays with good bend.

He has impressive ball skills, tracking ability, and he can make spectacular types of catches. However, he’s susceptible to occasional concentration drops, which can certainly be frustrating.

Smith-Marsette has good vertical ability, creates really good separation with his route running/athletic ability, and his body control/adjustment ability is very good. He would be an ideal Day 3 pick with a lot of upside that was underutilized at Iowa. He also possesses special teams upside; he was an excellent kick returner and took two kicks to the house for the Hawkeyes.

Overall, Smith-Marsette has some frustrating drops, and there’s still room for development, but he’s a high upside selection late in the draft who could legitimately be a steal. His ability to stack, create separation, be a vertical threat, and use his burst to his advantage could reward a team on Day 3.


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