Chiefs Draft Prospect: Baylor OT Jason Smith

J_smith_blog_medium

via NFL.com

Quick Hits:

School: Baylor (5th year senior)

Height/Weight: 6'5", 310 lbs.

Position: Played in 19 games in college as left tackle at 11 as a right tackle

***

Yesterday, 15 teams attended the Baylor University Pro Day. In reality, it was the Jason Smith Pro Day.

Described by the Matt Hinton (the greatest sports blogger I've ever read) as "the most obscure elite draft prospect since at least 1989," OT Jason Smith of Baylor is currently sitting at least in the top ten, if not the top five of most NFL mock drafts. His name has been mentioned alongside other top offensive line picks like Michael Oher, Andre Smith and Eugene Monroe. And increasingly, Smith's name is at the top of that list.

Since Jason Smith has played relatively few games at the tackle position, he's getting the "raw" label which generally doesn't project well for top five draft picks. He has the size and the athleticism to play in the NFL but will the Chiefs take him?

Click over for a full write up on Jason Smith.

College playing experience

Like Matt Hinton said, it's only been until really this past year that Jason Smith has risen to the top of the prospect list. Until the 2008 season, he was a relatively unknown player on a Baylor team that got little, if any, national media coverage.

2004

  • Offensive MVP of the scout team as a freshman tight end

2005

  • Red shirt freshman that appeared in 11 games
  • Started six of those games at tight end
  • Named team's most improved player

2006

  • Played in 12 and played on every snap in 11 of those games
  • Moved from tight end to tackle, starting each game at right tackle

2007

  • Started the season at left tackle
  • Only played in seven games because of a medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee
  • All-Big Twelve Conference honorable mention from the Associated Press
  • 4.0 grade point average

2008

  • Led the Big 12 with 17 touchdown resulting blocks as a left tackle
  • All-American first team
  • Major reason Baylor ranked 3rd in the Big 12 in rushing

As you can imagine, since he was attending Baylor, Smith was able to garner lots of school accolades. Smith broke the school record for knockdowns in 2008 and is only the 10th offensive linemen in school history earn All-American honors.

Stats

Stats GM Plays Pancake blocks TD Blocks Downfield blocks Pressures Allowed Sacks allowed
2007 7 436 47 6 2 1 1
2008 12 711 96 17 13 2 3.5
Total 19 1147 143 23 15 3 4.5

 

Courtesy of NFL Draft Scout, here are Smith's stats over the last two years.The Big 12 isn't exactly known for it's defense but Smith faced his share of decent pass rushers on the left side of the line, doing a great job of containing Texas DE Sergio Kindle when Baylor played UT last year.

Speaking of pancake blocks, here's Smith from the Combine just a few weeks ago:

When I'm on the field, I take a lot of pride in physically assaulting somebody. As far as finishing them off, that's just a part of the block, so you don't really think too much of it because that's what you go on the field to do. So it's just something I practice real hard at, and I practice real hard at practicing, and when its game time it just happens natural.

By all accounts, Smith is a stand out character guy as well as an aggressive player, getting good grades and mentoring young players.

Injury concerns?

Smith missed time in 2007 because of a sprained MCL in his knee which he suffered in the season opener. He came back after three games, tweaked his knee again the next week, and ended up taking more time off.

Is his injury history a concern? None whatsoever. Smith has shown that his knee injury was a fluke and not an indicator of having the injury bug by any stretch of the imagination. He came back in 2008 and played in every game for the Bears.

Draft prospects

Like I mentioned in the intro, Smith is consistently in the top five if not the top ten of most NFL mock drafts. He's quietly crept into the #1 OT prospect spot as players like Virignia OT Eugene Monroe were hurt slightly by their Combine performances and injury rumors.

It's possible that Smith jumps into the top five of the draft but he may end up being a bit too "raw" for that. Smith has only recently in his career fully committed to being a left tackle, which may make some teams more inclined to pick a guy like Eugene Monroe who has more experience on the line. Smith also reportedly needs to put on some weight to compete at the next level.

Smith may not be good enough to warrant a top five draft pick but I doubt he falls past the Jacksonville Jaguars at #9.

Should the Kansas City Chiefs draft him?

If Aaron Curry is gone, then I think the Chiefs may take a long hard look at Jason Smith if they can't trade away this #3 pick. In fact, I'd almost guarantee the Chiefs go offensive line if Curry is gone. It's the best value at that draft spot. It could be Monroe or Smith I believe.

 

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