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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: EDGE Elerson Smith

  • The Draft Network
  • January 10, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY - ELERSON SMITH

Elerson Smith plays with good athleticism with regards to his agility on the edge. He has excellent length and projects with more value as an edge defender. He has good agility as a rusher but struggles against the run. He doesn’t have the frame or play strength to hold up in the NFL trenches, which is why he is best suited as an EDGE defender. All in all, he has upside as a pass rusher in subpackages, but will need to get stronger and tougher to be an every-down NFL player. 

Ideal Role: Subpackage EDGE player.

Scheme Fit: 3-4 scheme.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Drae Harris

Games watched: NDSU (2019), Youngstown (2019)

Best Game Studied: Youngstown (2019)

Worst Game Studied: NDSU (2019)

First-Step Explosion: His first step explosion is good. He has good initial quickness off the line of scrimmage. He also has good pass rush production off the edge. 

Flexibility: His flexibility overall is good. He shows the ability to bend and get the edge. However, there are moments where he gets his pad level too high.

Hand Counters: He does a good job using his hands to counter. He can use his length to set the edge and disengage. He also uses a push/pull technique at times to get by tackles.

Hand Power: He doesn’t have a lot of power in his hands. His hands don’t jolt back linemen at the FCS level, so he will have issues in this regard in the NFL.

Run Defending: He struggles to defend the run. He struggles when he is the playside defender, due to his lack of strength. He also has moments of struggling at the point of attack.

Effort: He plays the game with good effort. He works hard to get to the football as the backside defender. He also continues when his initial pass rush has been stonewalled.

Football IQ: If he learned to identify blocking schemes better, this could help him in the run game. He will sometimes lose the football and appear lost. 

Lateral Mobility: Like most of his other movement skills, his lateral mobility is good. He can get off the ball and bend on the edge. He also shows the lateral mobility to get down the line and to the ball.

Functional Strength: He really needs to improve his strength to be an every-down player in the NFL. He struggles when he is the playside defender against physical teams like NDSU. This is also evident in his ability to hold the point of attack. 

Versatility: He has average versatility. He is not ideally suited to play in-line in the NFL. He is best suited as a subpackage rusher on the EDGE, where his lack of strength won’t be as much of an issue.

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 72.50/100

Joe Marino: 71.50/100

Kyle Crabbs: 72.50/100

Jordan Reid: 73.00/100

Drae Harris: 72.00/100

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The Draft Network