We got word last night that the Kansas City Chiefs will meet privately with USC OT Tyron Smith, so today we are taking a closer look at Smith as part of our Chiefs Draft prospects series.
Smith isn’t your typical fat offensive lineman. While he is tall at 6’5, he played his college ball at around 295. For the combine he started adding some bulk and got himself up to 307. By comparison, Branden Albert is listed at 6-5, 316.
While Smith is still bulking up, his size may not be a huge concern for the Chiefs. KC runs a zone blocking scheme that relies on lineman to be a bit lighter and athletic. Smith would be a good fit in the ZB scheme.
Smith’s big strength seems to come in the running game, according to FanSided scout Larry McDaniel at withthefirstpick.com.
Run Blocking: A gifted athlete that’s nimble on his feet. Excels at reaching the second level, breaking down and getting his hands on defenders. Also does an excellent job of sealing the edge on stretch/toss runs. Uses his quickness well to swing his hips around and set the crease for interior runs. Keeps his arms extended and his legs driving. Gets underneath his mans pads, and maintains leverage throughout the play. Needs to improve on cut blocking. Dips his head, and doesn’t set his eyes on his target. Also needs to add more strength to go with his excellent technique, to be effective at the next level.
Here is what Larry had to say about Smith’s pass blocking:
Pass Protection: A tall and well built offensive tackle that possesses long arms. Plays with good bend and sits in his stance extremely well. Maintains excellent leverage throughout contact and displays exceptional athletic ability. Has a slender frame that needs filling out. Isn’t overly powerful, and will attempt to play with more physicality to supplement it. That over aggressiveness gets him in trouble at times. He’ll get caught over extending and defensive ends take advantage of his poor balance distribution. Shows good body control and awareness. Can mirror effortlessly.
Smith sure sounds like he would be an excellent fit in KC. He has no character issues that I could find. He is only 20 years old so he might need some coaching up but most rookies do. If he worked out, he could be a solid T for the Chiefs for years to come.
The problem is that he may be long gone by the time the Chiefs pick at #21. About a month ago there wasn’t nearly as much buzz about Smith, but now there are a number of mock drafts that have him going as high as the top ten.
Larry McDaniel released his scouting report on Smith back on February 15th. He seemed to have a predict Smiths recent rise up draft boards.
People tend to over look Tyron Smith. Right now, the big names for offensive tackle are Nate Solder, Gabe Carimi, and Anthony Castonzo. I may be in the minority, but I believe Smith has the chance to be better than the above three. His raw talent, size, and athleticism, set him up nicely for the NFL. He is the new breed of offensive tackles. If one didn’t know better, they would mistake Smith for a defensive end or tight end. He is well put together and his frame can afford 15-20 more pounds. As teams in the NFL move more towards spread offenses and stretch running plays, Smith becomes a commodity.
Looks like Larry was right. Check out his full scouting report on Smith here.
So why are the Chiefs looking at tackle prospects and what does it mean?
I have a feeling that this is going to be a best player available situation for the Chiefs in the first round. They are picking at #21 and it is kind of an awkward slot. There isn’t likely to be a no-brainer pick available to them in this slot so it may likely come down to who is on top of their draft board. As such, I think the Chiefs are going to do their due diligence on every player at a position of need that could be there when they pick in round one.
The Chiefs still have a number of needs. The need a OLB,WR, C and a NT. They could also probably upgrade over Barry Richardson at tackle and even Jovan Belcher at MLB. That is what makes predicting KC’s first round pick so difficult.
The good news is that they are likely to have multiple options at #21 so regardless of how the draft goes, they shouldn’t have to reach too far to fill a need with a quality player. Chances are, when there number is called, a pretty good player at one of those positions will be available.
For the Chiefs, it will just be a matter of sorting out which of that group will help them the most.
What do you think Addicts? Smith could be an upgrade at RT or maybe even a future LT. Would you pull the trigger if he was on the board at #21?