The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s summer depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Cannon Smith (6-5, 265)
Player position: Tight end
Years left of eligibility: 2 years
Current rank on depth chart: Third team
Player productivity so far: Smith has been a mainstay on Clemson’s special teams units the last two seasons. He has appeared in all 30 games during that time. He had two catches for 25 yards in 15 games, and posted his first career catch against S.C. State on a 22-yard reception. He posted a three-yard reception in five snaps against South Carolina.
What player does best: If one word could be used to describe Smith, it would be reliable. You know what you’re going to get when he’s on the field. He excels at blocking but has the speed and athleticism to get out of the backfield to make some good catches and gain yards after contact.
What player needs to work on: Smith needs to work on running routes. He does have soft hands and can catch the football, but getting open has been his biggest challenge to this point.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position (first year and last):
Michael Palmer, 2006: Played in all 13 games. He had five catches for 30 yards. He averaged 6.0 yards per catch with a long of 11 yards. He averaged 2.3 yards per game.
Michael Palmer, 2009: He played 13 of the 14 games. He finished second on the team with 43 receptions and was second with 507 yards. His 4 touchdowns were also tied for second on the team. He averaged 11.8 yards per catch with a long of 26 yards. He averaged 39.0 yards per game.
Dwayne Allen, 2009: He played in 14 games. He had 10 catches for 108 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. His longest catch was 17 yards and he averaged 10.8 yards per catch. He also averaged 7.7 yards per game.
Dwayne Allen, 2011: He finished third on the team with 50 receptions and was third with 598 yards. His 8 touchdowns were second on the team. He averaged 12.0 yards per catch with a long of 54 yards. He averaged 42.7 yards per game.
Jordan Leggett, 2013: He played in 10 of the 13 games. He had 12 catches for 176 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. He averaged 14.7 yards per catch with a long of 44 yards. He averaged 17.6 yards per game.
Jordan Leggett, 2016: He played in all 15 games. He finished fourth on the team with 46 receptions, but his 736 yards ranked second. His 7 touchdowns ranked third on the team. He averaged 16.0 yards per catch with a long of 56 yards. He averaged 45.0 yards per game.
What can you hope for? Smith has a good camp and moves up to second team where he can push Milan Richard for the starting job.
What is a realistic expectation? If Smith is the second team tight end then he can possibly catch 10 or so passes. However, he will be a force on the line as a blocker, especially in goal line and short yardage situations.
What about the future? Smith has one more season left after this one. He will get plenty of playing time this season, especially as a lead blocker.