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The good: His pass rushing talent makes him a good fit for the attack linebacker in a 3-4 set, though he has no experience playing in that scheme. He has a quick first step and the athletic ability to be a fine pro edge rusher with some development. He's only 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, so that lack of bulk limits him against the run, though he will beat blockers and make plays with speed and quickness. He his played the burst off the ede early in his career and learned how to develop extra moves to make plays. Despite his lean frame, he was accustomed to facing 300-pound tackles in the Big 12 and he has the speed to out-quick them and get the corner as a rusher. He uses his hands well to swim, slap and slide by blockers to be dangerous early on the down.
The bad: He was having his best season when he a broken leg in November ended his collegiate career. He's still rehabbing his leg and did not attend the NFL Combine and was unable to workout at the Missouri pro day in March. A defensive end in college, he will have to move to linebacker to compete for a job. He has minimal growth potential and fits into a situational role in the 4-3. He needs to work on using his hands to beat bigger blockers at the point of attack. He needs to get stronger and develop secondary moves, and he lacks the ability to separate from blockers once they have their hands on him.
Outlook: Despite his injury issues, Smith's outstanding speed (he had run a 4.7 40 before his injury) should merit him as a possible late round pick if he checks out medically and continues to progress in his rehab. He's a good late gamble with definite upside but his early production is questionable because of his medical situation and likely position move.
This is special to Rivals.com from Frank Coyle. Coyle has written about the NFL Draft in his newsletter for more than...[Complete Bio]