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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: OG Trey Smith, Tennessee

The Giants offensive line is headed in the right direction, but it could use some additional depth along the interior, especially if the team moves on from Kevin Zeitler this off-season. Might Trey Smith of Tennessee be a worthwhile prospect to develop?

OG TREY SMITH 

Height: 6'6"
Weight: 325 lbs.
Class: Senior
School: Tennessee


Smith was the top-ranked recruit in the 2017 recruiting cycle, and everyone wanted to sign him. He came into Tennessee and started at left tackle before being switched to the left guard position. He started excellently in 2017 by earning a Freshman All-American honor.

His 2018 was mostly derailed because of the blood clots. In a very feel-good story, Smith returned in 2019 and had a good season for the Volunteers. He was All-SEC First Team, was an SEC All-Academic, and won the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year. In 2020, he was All-SEC First Team and was a Second Team All-American. Teams are going to love Smith’s character, resilience, and pedigree.

Injuries

In February of 2018, doctors found blood clots in Smith’s lungs. The issue was presumably resolved, but after another evaluation in the middle of the 2018 season, it was determined that the blood clots were recurring. Tennessee shut Smith down immediately, and he missed the remainder of the 2018 season after starting seven games.

Traits

He has exceptional size with adequate overall athletic ability. Smith has a hulking frame, a thick base, and a strong chest. Has excellent functional strength and thrives “in a phone booth.” There’s a ton of raw power in his game. His lower leg drive and ability to move players stands out on tape, but there are athletic limitations and technical flaws to his game.

Smith telegraphs his assignments for starters and often looks at who is going to block before the snap, which is correctable, but a bad habit.

He also has a bad tendency to pop straight up in the air after the snap, forcing his pad level and center of gravity to rise. It exposes his chest, widens his base, and exacerbates his questionable NFL athletic ability.

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Smith is slow-footed and has adequate lateral agility. He’s not fluid, and he’s stiff. He plays with adequate processing and seems to have tunnel vision in a lot of situations, especially in pass protection.

He has very good grip strength and keeps his elbows tight in pass protection. Anchor is not an issue, but keeping pass rushers from establishing the half-man is something he can work on.

Overall, he’s solid in pass protection now that he’s playing guard. He tends to use his inside arm to grab and adjust defensive lineman in pass protection, but it has led to successful heavy-handed inside counter moves.

While this is a problem, his location with that one hand is usually very good, he needs to do a better job with positioning and using that opposite hand to its potential. He looks for work but is slow to locate.

A solid overall run blocker. He will thrive on down blocks and is good in DEUCE (guard/tackle combo) situations; he chips and climbs adequately with those blocks. Not as strong on ACE combo blocks (guard/center) when he climbs when he has to move around and locate the scrapping WILL or MIKE. Athleticism makes it difficult to consistently locate quicker linebackers with good processing.

He does well as the pinner in pin-pull situations, but he may be too high and slow to effectively be the puller in the NFL at a “good” level. He has shown a solid ability to seal the B-gap against 3-Technique’s on play-side runs - his positioning and how he fires off the football seem to be better in these situations (doesn’t pop straight up).

The athletic ability will always cap his once immense upside, but technical issues seem to hold him back from a higher sealing. Teams are going to love his pedigree, and they’ll like his measurables and strength, but Smith isn’t polished. He could be solid in a downhill running offense, but there are correctable parts of his game that should be addressed. Smith has the upside to be drafted on Day 2. 


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