Kaden Smith: 3 Star Fantasy Football Prospect

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Kaden Smith (6’5”, 259) Tight End, Stanford.

15 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

The tight end position was an absolute mess in 2018 for Fantasy Football. Outside of the top tier options, there was a whole lot of nothing from the position. With that being the case, the 2019 NFL Draft will look to infuse the NFL with some top talent at the position.

Up first for the tight end position is Kaden Smith out of Stanford. A 4 star recruit out of Flower Mound Texas, Smith has had a solid career with production that warrants mid-round draft consideration. While playing in 15 games for Marcus high school, Smith accumulated 678 total yards on 43 catches and hauled in 5 touchdowns.

College Production

After committing to Stanford and not seeing action as a freshman in 2016, Smith played in 14 games in his sophomore season hauling in 23 catches for 414 yards and 5 touchdowns. His season was highlighted by a 4 catch-80 yard-2 touchdown performance against USC in the Pac-12 Championship game. This past year as a junior, Smith earned All-Pac-12 second team honors and was a Mackey Award finalist. In 10 games, he totaled 635 yards on 47 receptions and scored 2 touchdowns.

At first glance, the production doesn’t seem to be overwhelming but this is the typical production of a college tight end. In comparison to fellow draft class tight ends Noah Fant and Dawson Knox, Smith could make an argument as the top tight end in the class in terms of production although Fant’s touchdown production was pretty off the charts.

All in all, Smith had a productive collegiate career that will certainly have scouts talking. Let’s do a deep dive into some particular attributes for Kaden Smith.

Speed/Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 2.3 (Personal Score: 2)

Smith definitely isn’t the fastest guy on the field. While he moves well for his size, he won’t be known for running past defenders. While watching tape, Smith doesn’t seem to add anything in terms of yards after the catch. His combine 40 time could make or break him and could be the difference between the 3rd round or the 5th round.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 2.3 (Personal Score: 2)

Due to his lack of speed, Smith’s route running abilities are pretty subpar. He doesn’t really have burst when coming out of his routes, which could be a problem at the NFL level. I’ll get to why I actually believe he’ll be ok in a minute but overall; Smith needs some polish on his route tree. The seam route is easily his best route and he runs it well, often in perfect position while utilizing his size to block out the defender.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Ah yes, Blocking. The ultimate sign of a fantasy gem at the tight end position, how could you go wrong with a strong blocker! In all seriousness, I saw a plus blocking tight end while watching the film on Smith. He does not shy away from contact (at his size, why would he?) and engages defenders with a good, low base to support his blocks. He is rarely out of position on his block attempts and helped spring some huge plays for Stanford running back Bryce Love. His abilities as a pass catcher leave a lot to be desired but his blocking ability will be an immediate help at the NFL level.

Handwork/Positioning: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Kaden Smith, while not being the most precise route runner or a burner, has very solid hands. He made some pretty nice catches this past season and can be relied on if the ball is thrown in his area. However, his hand usage when trying to separate from defenders needs work. He consistently lost that battle this past season and will need to refine his technique before becoming a threat in the passing game. There’s potential here but he’ll need a solid tight end coach. Get him into one of those Aaron Donald-type knife combat training sessions and he should be good to go…or he might get stabbed, let’s hope for the other one though.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Smith has the size and strength that you like to see from an NFL tight end. He’s pretty athletic for a guy his size but that can be a blessing and a curse. Smith often relies on his athleticism far too often in the passing game and that will not win him battles at the NFL level. Defenders will be just as athletic if not more so he will need to develop his other tools in order to be a presence.

Conclusion: 3rd round target

I don’t expect Smith to have a substantial enough rookie season to warrant spending a high pick on. I would like to point out that if he ended up on a team like the Rams then that could possibly change but right now, I don’t see a heavy contributor in year 1. If you deem him not worthy enough for a draft pick then I wouldn’t blame you but he’s an interesting late round flyer at a position that was bare bones in 2018. He could be worth the late round flyer.

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