Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines Iowa Hawkeye wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette a 2021 NFL Draft prospect with the creativity and efficiency to make an NFL roster and it will take him honing these skills to a razor’s edge to contribute in a starting lineup.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette’s game is all about creativity and efficiency. When he expresses these two characteristics on the field, he’s a successful playmaker. When he lacks them, this game-breaker is stuck in the garage.
He finds solutions as an open-field runner that you would expect from an NFL starter. He also gets stuck at the line of scrimmage in situations that you wouldn’t expect from a Sunday contributor.
This week’s RSP Boiler Room illustrates where Smith-Marsette wins and loses at this stage of development as an NFL prospect. Everything lacking in this sample of his tape is a skill he can add to his game—and should add to his game.
The big question is whether he will. This isn’t an implication that he lacks the work ethic, character, or football intelligence to do so. Smith-Marsette epitomizes most prospects you’ll see with what is likely a Day 3 draft grade: His athletic ability, physical dimensions, and skills meet NFL baselines but across the board, they lack the prototypical standards of starters.
Like every prospect in this situation, he’ll have to prove that his knowledge of the playbook is sharp, he’s in top physical condition, and working on ways to refine his strengths to a razor’s edge while shoring up the easy-to-fix lapses.
It all boils down to him making every aspect of his game as creative and efficient as possible.
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