If there’s one thing you should know about the newest member of the Eagles’ practice squad, it’s this:
Really, really fast.
The Eagles on Wednesday signed 23-year-old cornerback/return man Tremon Smith, who has previously played for the Packers and Chiefs. The Eagles released S Chris Johnson from the practice squad to make room.
Smith, a 2018 sixth-round pick out of Central Arkansas, is known for his blazing speed. At the 2018 Central Arkansas pro day, Smith was clocked running a 40-yard dash time of 4.32.
To put that 40 time into perspective, that was the top time for all players at the 2018 NFL combine. And just four cornerbacks have run a faster time at the combine in the last 10 years.
While Smith (6-0, 190) played 74 defensive snaps for the Chiefs last year, he has primarily been a return man during his time in the NFL, first for the Chiefs and then earlier this year for the Packers.
Smith has returned 46 kickoffs for 1,189 yards (25.8) during his time in the NFL and had a long of 97 yards (he didn’t score) in 2018.
Tremon Smith's 9️⃣7️⃣ yard kickoff return that set up the touchdown. ⚡️💨 pic.twitter.com/3oARKvyCv0— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) October 15, 2018
Before the start of this season, the Chiefs briefly tried Smith at running back before moving him back to corner. He was waived in September and picked up by the Packers. He spent time on the active roster and the practice squad in Green Bay before they released him a couple days ago.
The Eagles have used a few different kick returners this season. Most recently, Boston Scott has taken over that role from Miles Sanders as Sanders’ offensive duties have grown. The Eagles, as a team, are averaging just 22.1 yards per kick return this season, which ranks around the middle of the pack.
Here’s what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote about Smith during the 2018 pre-draft process:
“Extremely confident and extremely greedy as an on-ball defender, Smith was asked to play the role of island defender and did so at a high level. While he faced a lower level of competition, he possesses the size, speed, athletic ability and instincts that should be able to translate to the league. Smith has the potential to fight for either an outside or slot role, but he'll need to play with better discipline in order to avoid penalties and big plays.”
It’s unclear if Smith will even stick around for the rest of this season, but it’s easy to see why the Eagles wanted to get him in the building. This type of speed is special and the Eagles have lacked overall speed this year. It can’t hurt to get a look at Smith now and maybe get an extended look at him next offseason.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.