Gets too high when asked to take on blocks when run at and struggles to anchor and shed inside. Exhibits some power as a tackler, but fails to consistently break down on contact and will take bad angles when working in pursuit.
Impression: He possesses good size, but he's stiff, isn't real instinctive and lacks range when asked to close on the football."
Positive: Hardworking, disciplined college prospect with a physical nature to his game. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself, and displays solid awareness. Stays with assignments, flashes pass rush ability out of a three-point stance, and hustles around the field. Strong tackler and brings opponents down at the point of attack.
Negative: Poor playing speed and ineffective in pursuit of the action. Not quick pedaling in reverse. Lacks overall range. Poor size/speed numbers.
Analysis: Smith is a competitive prospect who make plays based on his awareness and hustle. He was a solid special teams player at Notre Dame, specifically on coverage units, which is what will earn him a spot in the NFL."
Strengths: Versatile player who has played both inside and outside linebacker. Thickly built and strong; can stack TEs when lined up outside and can take on OGs when playing inside. Hard hitter who stands up RBs. Explosive off the edge and gets some heat as a blitzer. Disciplined and is always in the right spot. Good speed and pursues hard. Nice instincts in pass coverage. Plays on special teams.
Weaknesses: Stiff and mechanical athlete. Not fluid in space. Gets wired to blocks and doesn't shed. Gave way to younger players in his senior season and wasn't on the field as much as he was accustomed.
Projection: Likely late-round choice will have to make his living on special teams, though his versatility and ability to play different positions will be attractive to 3-4 teams looking for depth."