Ht – 6’4” Wt – 324lb Class – JR Age – 21
Balance – Tyler Smith has phenomenal balance, and he is an exceptionally smooth mover. He has a great frame for a Left Tackle, and he maximizes his athletic potential on every play.
Power – Generally, he has a great anchor. When he gets beat off the snap, he can play too high, resulting in him losing his leverage. Upper body strength, however, is outstanding. He is a nasty blocker and finished many reps by tossing the defender to the ground.
Blocking in Space – Not ideal, although there were a few great reps. He has potential in this area, as he is a great mover. Still, he seemed lost and confused too many times.
Football IQ – Good, not great. There were a few lapses in judgment and his blitz identification. Additionally, he is easily the sloppiest player in this draft. He seemingly got called for holding once a game, and there were multiple games with multiple holding penalties. This is on top of the countless holding penalties he got away with.
Run Blocking – Tyler Smith is NASTY in run blocking. He mauls defenders completely, and he loves to chuck them aside. He uses a great leg drive to push open holes, and while he wasn’t a key piece in Tulsa’s run success, he has the tools to be great.
Lateral Mobility – Fantastic kick-step and lateral mobility off the snap. As mentioned, Tyler Smith is a very smooth mover, and this applies especially to his lateral agility. It was rare that he got beat off the edge, or from an inside counter. He has a knack for staying in front of defenders.
Pass Sets – Tyler Smith showed a lot of potential. Not only did he display a great kick-step, but he is very agile, and stays in front of pass-rushers with ease. He can stonewall defenders with his great anchor, and he strikes his hands and counters hand strikes with precision. Even when beat, Smith displayed a phenomenal ability to recover. There is one major concern, however – he isn’t explosive off the snap, and once he gets beat to the spot, he tends to play high, losing all leverage. This leads to him getting beat, which almost always leads to him holding.
Versatility – After playing only at Left Tackle his entire career at Tulsa, I believe that is where he fits best. He has the capabilities to transition to Guard, but I believe he is best suited maximizing his athleticism, movement ability, and nastiness on the edge.
Combine – As far as athletic measurements go, Tyler Smith had a very average Combine. None of his testing numbers would blow you away, but none were disappointing. The most enticing numbers are his 83” wingspan and his 34” arms. Those are well above average.
Tyler Smith is a late riser in the draft process. He showed great potential at Tulsa, and while finishing the season as a projected late Day 2 pick, he is now being mocked consistently in the back of the 1st round.
This hype is mostly warranted. For most of his play, Tyler Smith looked dominant. He stonewalled pass-rushers regularly, and he is a mauler in run blocking. If he were to maintain that level of play throughout his entire tape, he would’ve easily been a Top 10 pick in this draft.
Unfortunately, there are two massive concerns. First, he is ridiculously sloppy. The amount of holding calls on him was absolutely ridiculous, and there were even more that were uncalled. To make matters worse, the holdings occurred at predictable times and in a pattern, suggesting this is an instinct to certain moves. Instincts like that are hard to change. Secondly, against Ohio State, arguably the only NFL level D-Line he faced, he got destroyed. He was beaten constantly, with explosiveness, moves, and quickness. While he looked good against Houston and Oklahoma State, that game is especially concerning.
Still, the potential is there, and with the right coaching, Tyler Smith can be a true superstar. Much of his game will need to be cleaned up, but it’s hard to pass on his immense potential.
See Tyler Smith’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.