Tyler Smith NFL Draft Overview
Position: Left Tackle
Weight: 324 pounds
Tyler Smith 2022 NFL Draft Profile
Tyler Smith leaves Tulsa after two seasons as the starter at left tackle. He began his career with the Golden Hurricane in 2019 as a redshirt freshman, though he did see action in four games that year. He followed that with a First Team Freshman All-American season in 2020 where he started all nine games at left tackle.
In 2021, he started all 13 games for the team and was selected to the All-AAC Second Team. Despite this success at left tackle, he is considered by some to be a candidate to move inside to guard at the next level, at least initially. However, others see him sticking as a left tackle in the NFL if he can clean up some of his technique.
- Good footwork;
- Excellent run blocker;
- Strong punch in pass sets;
- Good base in his pass sets;
- Good lateral movement.
- Inadequate hand usage;
- Too many holding penalties;
- Plays with shorter arms than he has;
- Plays too upright at times;
- Quits early on plays.
NFL Comparison: Dion Dawkins
Projection: Round 2
Bottom Line on Tyler Smith
Smith anchored the line well for the Golden Hurricane. His strength pops on screen, particularly in the run game. He can generate tremendous power and routinely flattens defensive linemen on run blocks. Per PFF he led FBS in big-time blocks in 2021. Regardless of if a team sees him as a tackle or a guard, it is hard to imagine him not being a solid run blocker from the get-go.
Smith is no slouch in the passing game either. He has good hip fluidity and is able to move laterally to mirror outside rushers well. He can keep defenders at bay with independent hands. When he is beat, he shows a decent ability to recover thanks to his speed. Off the field, he tested very well athletically. Put all of this together, and it’s easy to say that Smith has the tools to be a future starting left tackle in the NFL.
However, there are a number of issues that keep him from fully looking the part of a left tackle out of the gate. He has a tendency to play upright at times and not get low enough in his pass sets. This is compounded when he is a little slow coming out of his initial stance, which allows rushers to get around him. He also allows rushers to get into his torso quickly at times, not utilizing his entire arm length to keep them at bay.
His hand usage will need the most work. Smith will often drift outside and lose leverage on defenders, and this leads to a troubling number of holding penalties. Sometimes he simply tackles an opponent when he knows he is beaten. He also chooses to go with a two-handed strike at inopportune times, leading to him losing balance and lunging.
Overall, he may need to spend some time at guard to mask some of his issues. And he will definitely need a quality offensive line coach to correct his technique, particularly with his hand usage and penalty problems, in order to reach his ceiling. But it is hard to see him not being at least an adequate starter eventually with the talent and skillset he currently possesses.
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