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. Despite his lack of strength, he shows a solid initial punch. Does a good job of gearing up and exploding into the pads of his defender. Plays with a constant motor. Sustains his blocks for the duration of plays. Footwork is sound. Has no problems with keeping with speed rushers.
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.
Awareness: Is only 20 years old and three years removed from high school. Could use more experience and time to develop. The bulk of his playing time came at right tackle, but he is projected to play left tackle at the next level. Needs to improve on his blitz, stunt, twist recognition. Is sometimes a second late reacting.
Toughness: Excellent motor, and it shows. Gets nasty and is often seen blocking until the whistle. Is conscious of his play, and will often make concerted efforts to play physical and man handle his opponent.
Intangibles: Won the 2010 Morris Trophy Award for the most outstanding offensive lineman of the Pac-10. No questions about his character or work ethic. All reports to a upstanding young man that teammates and coaches love.
Overall Stock: 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. He is scheme diverse and line versatile. He played right tackle at USC, so there will be growing pains if he decides to make the switch to left tackle, but once he gains his bearings, I foresee a ton of success. There are not many blue chip players in this years draft, but I am a firm believer that Tyron Smith is one of them. I expect him to come off the board within the first 15 picks.
NFL Comparison: D’Brickashaw Ferguson