Utah's Sean Smith a young cornerback Lions may consider at No. 33 by Tom Kowalski | Opinion Wednesday April 22, 2009, 11:05 AM The Detroit Lions have three selections in the top 33 picks of the NFL draft, which begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Lions will be searching for three starters with those draft choices and we'll take a daily look at some of those candidates. Today: Utah cornerback Sean Smith, who could be Detroit's pick with the 33rd overall choice. Pros Smith has great size (6-foot-3 and 215 pounds) and the former receiver has excellent ball skills and knows how to go after the big plays. Because of his time at receiver -- he played that spot as a freshman -- he has a good understanding of how players are trying to attack him. A guy who stayed healthy and stayed out of trouble in college, Smith is still learning the details and nuances of playing cornerback so he has tremendous upside. He's not going to thump any NFL backs in run support, but he doesn't shy away from contact and will stick his nose into the action. He's downgraded on most mock drafts because he doesn't have elite speed or "fluidity,'' but he's a solid performer who could develop into something special. Because of the veteran experience in Detroit's defensive backfield, there is no urgency to shove Smith into a starting role immediately. The Lions have to believe he's starting quality or they shouldn't draft him, but they also have the luxury of easing him into the lineup at some point during his rookie year, whether that's training camp or mid-season. Cons His speed -- 4.47 in the 40 -- is an issue with some teams but you have to remember the guy is carrying 215 pounds. There is also the belief that Smith made a mistake by leaving school a year early and could have improved his draft status with another year at cornerback. Perhaps the biggest concern for scouts is that Smith is slow coming out of his backpedal and that could make him vulnerable against explosive receivers who will simply run right by him. Also, because of his inexperience in the defensive backfield, NFL coordinators will have an easier time setting him up in zone coverages.