Prospect: Maason Smith
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-4, 320 pounds
Position: Defensive Tackle
School: Houma (La.) Terrebonne
Schools of Interest: Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M, among others.
Projected Position: Defensive Tackle
Frame: Good length and big hands. Wears weight well with a fairly flat stomach and midsection. Has noticeable hips and backside.
Athleticism: Heavy-handed big man with natural strength and power. Fair to use upper-body length to his advantage. Can punch and place blockers on skates. Decent agility behind the line of scrimmage in the chase phase. Has enough athleticism to impact throwing lanes with his mitts and leap timing when he can’t get home.
Instincts: Solid hand placement accuracy with a quick 2-hand punch to breastplate inside. Can sit and anchor versus base blocks in the run game. Good eyes versus run with quick scheme-read ability. Alert for cross keys and interior pulls. Solid mesh-point vision in traffic upon line of scrimmage entry. Forces will in the initial rush with size and stays under control for a big body.
Polish: Hand usage is built around swim move versus run and pass. He also has the ability to bull rush. Needs to add variety to his mitts. Size and strength compensate for average snap quickness. Inconsistent point-of-attack explosiveness. Gets a good fit and wrap on ball carriers, though he is a high-striker at collision points. Should be ready to contribute on early downs early in his college career.
Bottom Line: Smith currently plays as a 4i/LDE in a 3-man front. He relies heavily on his size, strength and a quick swim to make plays. An imposing figure, Smith must continue improving his snap quickness and acquire more variety in his hand usage. Smith projects best as a 0-technique in a defense with an odd front with 2-gap principles where he can man both A-gaps.