2021 NFL Draft: D’Ante Smith Player Profile

D’Ante Smith 2021 NFL Draft Profile Overview

Position: Offensive Tackle
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 294 Pounds
School: East Carolina

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D’Ante Smith 2021 NFL Draft Profile

Few players gained more attention and notoriety from this year’s Senior Bowl then East Carolina’s D’Ante Smith. The 294-pound Offensive Tackle’s college career didn’t exactly start out hot, with Smith picking up a season-ending injury early in the year. The following year, Smith made five starts for the Pirates and moved up and down the offensive line, highlighting his versatility. In his third year at East Carolina however, Smith’s production skyrocketed. During that season, Smith started all twelve games and helped lead his offense to being ranked 20th in the nation.

The next season, Smith showed NFL scouts he could sustain success, starting all twelve games at left tackle and becoming recognized nationally. However, his college career unfortunately ended similar to how it started. Smith suffered an injury early into his final season with the Pirates and decided he would no longer suit up for the university. After announcing his decision to move forward with his career, D’Ante officially declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Strengths

  • Three-year starter at East Carolina, profiles well as a Guard/Tackle at the next level;
  • Possesses impressive body control;
  • Has great strength at the point of attack, latching onto defenders and controlling them through the block;
  • Impressive ability to get to the second level and block linebackers out of the play;
  • Plays with a high motor and a nasty mentality.

Weaknesses

  • Struggles to adjust to new fronts from time to time;
  • Fundamentals have a way to go;
  • Can be easily beaten by defenders using inside moves;
  • Needs to improve his blocking balance;
  • Must improve his footwork when sealing the edge.

Projected: Fourth Round

NFL Comparison: Jedrick Wills

Teams With Need At The Position: Carolina PanthersArizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans.

Last Word On D’Ante Smith:

Over the past couple of seasons, few offensive linemen have impressed more the East Carolina’s D’Ante Smith. His impressive body control and ability to latch onto defenders and take them completely out of the play makes him one of the most polarizing options for teams looking for help at the tackle position. Teams willing to take a flyer on Smith could be getting a player with great versatility, as the senior possesses the ability to play up and down the offensive line. In order for him to be successful at the next level, Smith will need to work on his footwork and his blocking balance, which, with the right coaching, shouldn’t be an issue.

Given all of his physical traits, Smith has the tools to become a successful tackle at the next level. If put into the right situation, Smith could become a productive rotational piece early on in his NFL career. If he can clean up some of the few weaknesses he still has, there’s no reason teams looking for a solid offensive linemen shouldn’t look Smith’s way.

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