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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: IOL Trey Smith

  • The Draft Network
  • December 21, 2020
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PROSPECT SUMMARY - TREY SMITH

A prized recruit out of high school, Tennessee offensive linemen Trey Smith played left tackle early in his Volunteers career before finding a home at right guard, where he fits best in the NFL. Identifying Smith’s strengths and weaknesses is pretty straightforward. He brings exceptional power to the table and dominates in a phone booth, but his lack of mobility and flexibility leads to some restrictions. While Smith is a massive and powerful people-mover, his high-hipped frame makes it challenging for him to play with consistent leverage and takes away from his functional strength, which is his best asset. Smith has room for technical growth, but his ceiling is as a starting guard in a gap/power run scheme with little appeal for any other scheme or position. There are some unfortunate medical notes with Smith who dealt with blood clots in his lungs in February 2018 and they appeared again in October 2018. He underwent a six-month regiment of blood-thinning medication and baby aspirin to get him ready to play in 2019.

Ideal Role: Starting guard.

Scheme Fit: Guard only in a gap/power run scheme.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: Kentucky (2019), Florida (2019), South Carolina (2019), Mississippi State (2019), South Carolina (2020), Georgia (2020), Florida (2020), Auburn (2020)  

Best Game Studied: Mississippi State (2019) 

Worst Game Studied: Georgia (2020) 

Competitive Toughness: There’s no question that Smith blocks with an edge and a mauler’s mentality, showcasing the desire to put defenders on their back. He has incredible upper body and grip strength that he uses to create a powerful initial jolt and control of reps. He consistently looks for work and competes through the whistle.

Balance: Smith is tight, high-hipped, and heavy-footed, which leads to issues keeping square to blocks. He has issues with lunging, over-extending, and waste bending, which causes balance issues. Smith has to do a better job staying square in pass protection—shedding weight and developing more footspeed is probably necessary for that to happen. There are also times where he is too frenetic, which can cause balance issues. 

Anchor Ability: Defenders would be wise to forget about bull-rushing against Smith because going through him isn’t an option. Smith has notable power in his upper body, which enables him to stun rushers and keep them at bay when he lands his punch. While Smith doesn’t always get his hips properly leveraged, his mass and functional power help him absorb contact and maintain the proper pocket depth. 

Lateral Mobility: Smith has tight hips and heavy feet, which are problematic when he has to slide and work laterally. Twitchy rushers that can get to Smith’s edges force him to work overtime and he has to get his hands on them to elongate their path or else the quarterback will be pressured. Smith is not a candidate to work laterally for wide zone runs. 

Power at POA: Smith has devastating power in his hands and upper body, which enables him to control reps. Opponents are overwhelmed when he has an advantageous angle and can wash them down the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately, Smith has challenges leveraging his hips and it robs him of power at the point of attack.  

Hand Technique: Smith’s hands are terrific in pass protection, which helps him overcome a lack of mobility and tight hips. His punch is powerful, well-placed, well-timed, and often stuns opponents. I would like to see him become more focused on keeping his hands fit and relying on his grip strength as opposed to trying to deliver knockout blows, as it would likely help him sustain blocks in the run game better. 

Football IQ: Smith is a smart blocker that understands the relationship between his assignment and the play concept. He is very good at combo blocking and climbing to the second level. He has not been immune to penalties, but it hasn’t been a major issue. 

Versatility: Smith has experience playing both tackle and guard at Tennessee but his best fit in the NFL is at guard. From a run game perspective, Smith is a drive blocker that would be best utilized in a gap blocking scheme. Overall, Smith doesn’t offer much in the way of scheme or position flexibility. 

Pass Sets: Smith’s slow feet often lead to tardy arrivals to his set points. He’s best when he can drop a quick anchor and quick set. He struggles to slide his feet and set up roadblocks against rushers that are quick and can reach his edges.  

Flexibility: For a team looking for a springy guard that can hinge, pivot, and reach deep landmarks in space, that’s not Smith’s game. He’s a phonebooth player that brings mass and power to the table. He may benefit from dropping weight to potentially gain more mobility and flexibility. 

Prospect Comparison: Larry Warford (2013 NFL Draft, Detroit Lions) 

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 72.63/100

Joe Marino: 73.00/100

Kyle Crabbs: 71.50/100

Jordan Reid: 74.00/100

Drae Harris: 72.00/100

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