Miami Dolphins rookie cornerback Cam Smith shared what defensive coordinator Vic Fangio told him prior to the 2023 NFL Draft.
“He said he loved my game [and] I just need [to eliminate] the handsy stuff, get rid of that out of my game,” Smith said. “He knows I can do it because it’s shown on tape.”
The Dolphins selected Smith with the No. 51 overall pick in the draft, adding him to an elite secondary that already has Xavien Howard, Jalen Ramsey and Jevon Holland.
Smith, who wants to assert his dominance in his rookie season, played collegiately at the University of South Carolina.
The conversation with Fangio has helped Smith’s mindset as he approaches his first season in the NFL. The rookie said that he wants to “make sure I don’t try to make too many plays away from me” in his first season, as they could lead to penalties.
It sounds like Smith wants to play within himself amongst the talented players in Miami’s secondary.
Last season, the Dolphins finished 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed. They still made the playoffs, but the team clearly wanted to address that weakness by trading for Ramsey and drafting Smith this offseason.
Ramsey and Howard should be terrific mentors for Smith as he begins his NFL career. Learning from two of the best corners in the game and a veteran coordinator like Fangio should help the youngster reach his full potential in Miami.
At South Carolina, Smith appeared in 32 games across four seasons, registering 91 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions, 18 passes defended and one forced fumble. He starred in his third year in the 2021 season, recording a career-high 41 total tackles and three interceptions for the Gamecocks.
It’s clear that Smith has the ability to be an impact player from day one in Miami, and it appears that Fangio wanted him on the team since he reached out to him before the draft.
The Dolphins are going to need Smith and the rest of the secondary to play well this season with Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen both in the AFC East. Solid quarterback play from divisional rivals will make it important for the Dolphins to defend at a high level if they want to make some noise in the 2023 season.