Here is a very brief overview I wrote in the 2008 Rookie Scouting Portfolio about Kevin Smith as an underrated player in the 2008 draft class.
Kevin Smith, University of Central Florida: How does a 2000-yard rusher qualify as underrated? When analysts and draftniks dismiss him as a baby-faced junior who is too thin, too easy to bring down, and indecisive at the point of attack. The only thing that they have right is the remark about his face—and that doesn’t win or lose football games. Smith is bigger than Darren McFadden and will likely add another 10 pounds of muscle as he matures because it’s his upper body that is on the thinner side. He already has a very muscular trunk and runs with good balance. The skills that make Smith special are his vision, hard-cutting style, and hip flexibility, which is reminiscent of no back I’ve seen since Marcus Allen.
Smith faced 9- and 10-men fronts and demonstrated a decisive style. I watched him have a very productive day against a stout Mississippi State defense that loaded up the box to stop him. Although he needs to do a better job of moving his legs when wrapped up, he has deceptive power and runs out of more hits and ankle tackles than advertised. The fact that he’s one of the best pure runners in this draft and he is still raw as a player makes Smith an underrated commodity.
In a few years Smith has a strong chance to be known as the best back in this class if he can capitalize on his vast talent. What will hold him back early is his need to improve his skills as a receiver. Nevertheless, Smith will excite teammates, fans, and fantasy owners with his running style. My only concern with Smith is his hard-cutting style. Some of the backs that share this aspect of his style suffered knee injuries that robbed them of their skill.