Louisiana Tech Senior
PROS: Flashes a nice first step with good upfield quickness. Closes on the quarterback when he gets penetration. Shows a nice swim move as well as potential as a bull rusher. Has a nice motor and can make plays laterally. Shows good athleticism and range potential there. Has ability to get leverage vs. the run and can make the stop at the point of attack.
CONS: Struggles when facing double teams and tends to get pushed off the ball in those situations. Has trouble disengaging from blocker. Doesn't have great quickness and it shows when he moves outside to defensive end.
OVERVIEW: Flashes potential, but not always a consistent disruptive presence. A four-year starter that finished college career with 12.5 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. Best year was as a junior where he had 5 and 8, respectively.
NFL FORECAST: Smith can be a bit of a tease. You will like his athleticism and he'll show potential, but I don't see the consistency and the dominating presence. He fits best as a 3-technique in a 4-3, as I'm not sure he possesses the ability to adapt well to other spots or schemes. Has experience playing end, but doesn't show ability to thrive there. Smith is one of those players that because of his upside, I could see him coming into his own several years down the road. But it also wouldn't surprise me that he gets off to a slow start in the NFL, and is a much better player for his second or third team than the one that drafts him. He needs development, and if he goes to a team with solid coaching and plays beside some other talent up front, I think his chances of earlier success are higher. But I'd be surprised if he's anything more than a rotational guy his first two or three seasons. He's a guy that you develop long-term. I'm not sure he'll be an impact pass rusher, but has the potential to be a guy that can be a 5-8 sack guy.
ATL FORECAST: Smith could help the Falcons rotation, and his potential to be a disruptive interior presence would help. But I'm not sure he'd develop quickly enough to the Falcons liking. He's not really a good option to play the nose, so unless the team plans to groom him as a replacement for Babineaux three or four years down the road, then he won't be as good in a rotation in Atlanta as he could be on other teams. Now, he could work as a future replacement, but I'm not confident he would pay a lot of dividends before his rookie contract expired.
VALUE: Smith has the talent and potential of a third round pick, but I'd feel much comfortable taking him in the fourth.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 3.0
PASS RUSH: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.