Receiver makes short trip for San Diego visit

The San Diego Chargers continue to meet with players of interest as the draft is now approximately three weeks away. On April 6, the team will meet with one of the nation's best wide receiver prospects. General Manager A.J. Smith leaves no rock unturned during the scouting process, but it appears he may have found a heck of a receiver right in his own backyard.

SDBoltReport.com has confirmed that University of Southern California wide receiver Steve Smith will be in San Diego on Friday for a visit. Smith (6-foot, 200 lbs) is an elite talent who noticeably bettered himself during each of his four seasons at USC. His career totals include 190 receptions for 3,019 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Smith's finest season came in 2006, when he set personal bests in catches (71), yards (1,083) and scores (nine). He was named first-team All-Pac 10 for his efforts.

Currently projected as a second- or third-round pick, Smith is a possession-type receiver who runs crisp routes and shows soft hands. He is very polished due to his ample experience in a pro-style offense and should be able to contribute early in his pro career. Additionally, he is allusive after the catch and a willing blocker.

What hurts Smith's draft stock more than anything thing else is his measurements, as he lacks ideal size and top-end speed. There are some questions about his durability, too, after he missed five games with a broken left leg in 2004.

Also, Smith is viewed as more of a complementary receiver than a true game-breaker. That's fine with the Chargers, who already have Vincent Jackson penciled into the No. 1 spot. That would allow Smith to learn behind Eric Parker as a rookie before eventually supplanting him in the starting line-up.

It would be inaccurate to put too low a ceiling on Smith's potential, however, as his productivity ranks right up there with the best college football has to offer.

If San Diego is going to draft Smith, it would likely have to happen at the bottom of round two. So if the Chargers lead off the draft by selecting a safety, Smith may become the team's top target with its next selection.

Smith also has visits setup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts.


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