Tyron Smith, OT, USC Trojans
40-Time: (NFL Scouting Combine Time Feb. 23 - Mar. 1 to be added)
Tyron Smith has long arms and is an athletic tackle prospect who moves well. He gets out of his stance quickly to get position on pass rushers. He moves well and can get downfield to block on running plays or screen passes beyond the line of scrimmage. He displays good footwork to mirror defenders and stay in front of pass rushers. His agility allows him to handle speed rushers with great success and is a major part of why he's projected as one of the top tackles in the draft. Smith is a tough player who seems to give his all on every snap. This and his agility have allowed him to play with the effectiveness of a 300 pound tackle at 20 pounds lighter.
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With offensive linemen getting bigger and bigger, it's likely that Smith's NFL team will ask him to add bulk to his frame. As he gets stronger he should be able to handle power rushers and move defenders out of the way on running plays, but initially he may struggle against some of the NFL's stronger defenders.
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Some have criticized Smith's decision to come out early, citing a frame that could use an extra ten pounds at the next level. However, with a very good chance that he'll be selected in the first round and with a relatively light class for elite tackles, the timing seems appropriate. Smith may begin his career in a backup role as he puts on a weight and gets stronger.
Potential NFL Team, Round
Smith is a player whose draft stock has been on the rise. At the earliest, we could see Smith taken by the Dallas Cowboys, who badly need a tackle, with the ninth pick. The cream of the crop of this year's draft class seems to be in the eye of the beholder, with some liking Nate Solder, others Derek Sherrod, others Anthony Costanzo and others Smith. The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions could use offensive linemen, while the New England Patriots and New York Giants could look his way as well. If he slides down into the bottom part of the round, the Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens could turn to his services as well. New England has another pick at the bottom of the round, too, keep in mind. There are really plenty of teams that could use a tackle including the Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, so the possibilities are endless for Smith, who could also slide into the second round.
Danny Hobrock, a sports journalist covering NCAA Football and MLB is the editor of our college football content. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ DannyHobrock
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