After the Kansas City Chiefs expended a sixth-round draft pick to select Tennessee offensive lineman Trey Smith, there was a lot of talk about Kansas City getting the steal of the draft, wisely grabbing a high-upside lineman whose draft stock had fallen because of perceived health issues.
But as time has gone on, it’s seemed more and more likely that Smith will be in the mix to compete for a starting job on the 2021 squad. And his in-person appearance before reporters on Saturday — following a light quarterback/rookie practice during the ramp-up to Kansas City’s training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri — did nothing to dispel that idea.
“It’s a high octane offense,” Smith said of his new teammates. “It’s truly a blessing to be here with the Chiefs organization. I’m playing with guys that I looked up to as a kid. Seeing Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill — those type of guys — around me, I’m excited about the opportunity to be here. And I’m really blessed that they decided to take a pick on me.”
Still, Smith acknowledged that it didn’t take long to get his welcome-to-the-NFL wake-up call.
“It slapped me first [in the] individual period with (offensive line) coach (Andy) Heck — that it was brutal,” he recalled with a smile. “But that was when I understood [the] winning culture in football — the expectations you have to meet every day to be a Chiefs football player.”
And Smith well understands that there’s still a lot he has to learn as he transitions to the next level.
“I’m always chasing perfection — which is something that we can’t attain as human beings,” he noted. “But the little nuances [are] something I need to take better care of in my game — paying attention to detail, not being too over-aggressive with a lot of things I do — and just being efficient in my play.”
Toward that end — just like Kansas City’s second-round pick Creed Humphrey — Smith attended the OL Masterminds summit during the players’ pre-training-camp break. The event is run by Duke Mayweather — one of the country’s best independent offensive line coaches. Dozens of NFL linemen take part in it.
“It’s always a great experience,” said Smith. “It’s about my second year — I would have gone last year [except] for COVID. Every time you come out of there, you learn a different thing to add to your toolbox. It’s an excellent event; Duke’s been doing it for a lot of years. I really enjoyed it. Creed, and I got a lot out of it.”
And just like his fellow rookie told reporters on Friday, it gave Smith a chance to meet former Kansas City right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
“I actually had a chance to speak with him briefly — just asking for some tips about training camp,” said Smith — who added that Schwartz advised him to bring a bed pad and comforter to St. Joseph. “It was awesome finally getting to meet him.”
But if you think that this all adds up to Smith being some kind of gentle giant, you should think again. The 6 foot 6, 330-pound lineman was happy to explain what attracts him to the sport.
“I love beating people up, man,” he revealed. “I love just like knocking someone down, rolling over them, pop them in the head when the play’s over with. It’s just sort of my personality — if you know me, I’m sort of a goon — but I just really enjoy the violence aspect of playing football.”
Make no mistake: during his rookie season, Smith is planning to make some noise.