So You've Drafted Ihmir Smith-Marsette: A New Owner’s Guide

By RossWB on May 1, 2021 at 1:55 pm
GO IHMIR GO
© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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Congratulations! You've just made the wonderful decision to draft Ihmir Smith-Marsette! Like most new Ihmir Smith-Marsette owners, you're no doubt filled with questions about your new family member. We here at GIA will try our best to answer any questions you might have.

HELLO MINNESOTA VIKINGS!

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE?

Smith-Marsette was, simply, one of the most fun Iowa players of the last 20 years. He was dynamite with the ball in his hands and a threat to do something electrifying anytime he touched it. Iowa found multiple ways to get him the ball -- as a receiver, as a runner, and as a return man -- and he produced thrills in every role. He can terrorize a team on deep balls -- but he can also do a lot of damage on short dig routes and quick-hitters where he catches the ball in space and can use his speed to blow by defenders. In the run game, he's a lethal weapon on reverses and end-arounds and other misdirection plays. And he was one of the best kick returners in college football over the past few years; he averaged almost 30 yards a return in 2019 and found the end zone twice. In 2020 teams just stopped kicking to him for the most part. So yeah: Smith-Marsette is just a dude who can make plays. 

WHAT DID HE DO THAT'S SO GREAT?

I'm just gonna drop this here: 

Smith-Marsette's overall receiving stats aren't mind-blowing for a four-year player -- 110 receptions, 1615 yards, 14 TD -- but that's more of an indictment of Iowa's passing offense than Smith-Marsette's ability. (As well as the deep-throwing accuracy of the quarterbacks throwing to Smith-Marsette at Iowa over the past few seasons.) Iowa's offense is typically focused on the run and passing opportunities often go to tight ends before receivers in Iowa's attack. Smith-Marsette (or ISM as Iowa fans called him) still has game-breaking speed and elite ability in the open field, which can make him a very welcome addition to an NFL passing game. 

STATS

YEAR REC REC YDS REC RD CAR RUSH YDS RUSH TD KR KR YDS KR TD
2017 18 187 2 7 43 0 4 134 0
2018 23 361 3 9 71 0 24 707 0
2019 44 722 5 11 110 3 17 503 2
2020 25 345 4 7 62 1 8 176 0

HOW ARE HIS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES?

FORTY SHUTTLE VERTICAL BROAD JUMP THREE-CONE BENCH
4.43 4.20 37" 10' 4" 7.00 10

Smith-Marsette was measured at 6'1" and 181 lbs at Iowa's Pro Day. 

HIGHLIGHTS

WHAT ABOUT THE BAD?

Smith-Marsette doesn't have a big frame and physical defenders can give him problems. His route-running is solid, but not exceptional, and he had a few drops on deep balls. 

WAS THIS A GOOD PICK? 

Yes, assuming a team knows what they're getting with him and is prepared to utilize him in an appropriate fashion. Are you looking for a big outside receiver who can fight through physical coverage and make difficult catches in traffic? Smith-Marsette isn't going to be that guy. But are you looking for a receiver with excellent top-end speed who can work out of the slot and take the top off a defense? Smith-Marsette can absolutely do that. Are you looking for a player who can line up in different spots and in a variety of roles? Smith-Marsette can definitely do that, too. And are you looking for a player who can be a dynamic presence in the return game? Ding ding ding. Smith-Marsette isn't going to be an every-down receiver in the NFL, but he has tremendous potential to contribute as a receiver, a runner, and a return man in an offensive scheme that can find creative and unique ways to utilize his speed and elusiveness. 

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