Smith played in all 14 games as that true freshman season, including one start, making 46 tackles, three for loss and one sack. He got more playing time as a sophomore, starting five of 13 games played and racking up 39 tackles, four for loss, and 1.5 sacks. While Aldon Smith sat part of the 2010 season with a fractured fibula, Jacquies started every game, earning second-team All-Big 12 with 35 tackles, 10 for loss, 5.5 sacks. He also forced two fumbles in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Though Jacquies will likely not be selected as high as Aldon (he was not happy with the projection the NFL Advisory Committee gave him after the season) because he is not as explosive rushing the passer, scouts see they have similar builds and were asked to do similar things in Missouri's defense. Jacquies even stood up on occasion, leading 3-4 teams to project him to linebacker at the next level. His strength and length could push a 4-3 team to see him as a starting defensive end, as well. That sort of versatility could earn Jacquies an early-to-middle round selection.
Pass Rush: Flashes a quick first step when allowed to get after the passer. Moved inside on third downs to pressure interior linemen, works hard to get through doubles to chase the passer. Smart player who covers center screens when stunting inside. Hesitates to take out smaller running backs when attacking the passer. Length and height allows him to knock down passes at the line. Takes time to get out of two-point stance. Swipes at blocks to stay clean but does not use his hands consistently enough.
Run Defense: Looks like an edge rusher but plays with good effort on the strong side of the formation. Throws body into his blocker to maintain the line. Stays with one-on-one blocks down the line and gets off to make plays, though typically performs better against tight ends/H-backs. Stunts inside regularly, holds ground fairly well considering his build and slides between blockers to attack inside runs. Could use his hands more effectively to shed.
Explosion: Inconsistent quickness off the snap, looks quick and strong at times but can be a step late and doesn't win the edge often enough to be considered an elite rusher. Strong enough punch to send tight ends into the backfield when he feels the run coming.
Strength: Tall, somewhat lean build belies good strength and effort at the point of attack. Uses leverage to hold his ground against double teams as well as can be expected. Most tight ends cannot handle him on the line but NFL tackles, however, will be able to control him with their upper-body strength if he allows them to latch on.
Tackling: Hard-working defender, makes most of his tackles fighting through blocks against the run. Willing to hustle downfield, takes deep angles to prevent big plays from resulting in scores. Goes for the strip once tackle is secured. Chases down players from behind but lacks the elite burst to close. High-cut player who may not break down quickly enough to corral NFL backs.
Intangibles: Stepped in immediately to play as a true freshman, has not missed a game due to injury in his career. Mature player who works in the weight and film rooms, and is a leader in the locker room."
He consistently gets upright off the football in both the run and pass game. Possesses a natural burst to his game when trying to shoot gaps inside as a DT, but it isn't nearly as impressive off the ball on the edge.
He has the burst to threaten the edge, but plays slowly because of his higher pad level off the ball, exposing his entire frame into contact. He doesn't extend his long arms at all in order to slip blocks. He exhibits some natural short area quickness, but is routinely jolted on his pass rush because of his high pad level.
Isn't real physical on contact, and doesn't exhibit much of a bull rush or the ability to anchor vs. the run game. When he wants to be physical, he will routinely lead with his shoulder and fails to disengage from blocks.
Doesn't use his hands well to keep his legs clean when trying to work from the backside and too often ends up on the ground in pursuit. He also doesn't have the natural anchor strength or leverage to set the edge. Consistently allows offensive tackles to get into and under his frame and wash him out of the play or seal him from the action.
Impression: An intriguing looking DE prospect with some natural athleticism and closing speed, but he struggles out of his stance and does play as dynamic as his athletic skill set says he should. Looks more like an underachieving reserve at this stage."
Plays hard and runs to the ball but his effectiveness is hampered by average eyes and instincts, unrefined hand use and counters and an inability to convert speed to power.
Needs to play with better leverage and doesn't accelerate off blocks.
Can be overagressive and lose contain and disappears for stretches.
Will have to prove his worth without 49ers first-rounder Aldon Smith on the other side of the line and could be a candidate to stand up in the pros."
He combines his physical skills with a non-stop motor that helps him pursue and attack. Smith has good fluid motions that lead me to believe he can make the adjustment to linebacker. He lacks the bulk to hold up at defensive end meaning a move to linebacker is in his future.
I have a hard time finding a lot to like about Smith, other than his athletic ability. He lacks the ideal instincts limiting his plays on the football. Smith really struggles to identify the ball often resulting in over pursuit or him being out of position. His lack of pass rush moves is concerning as it limits his ability to create pressure.
His relies on his quickness to create pressure. However, he is often unsuccessful because his first move off the line is straight up providing time for the offensive lineman to get set. His lack of bulk really hurts his ability to stop the run and hold at the point of attack.
Overall, Smith possesses the athletic ability to be a good football player but lacks in the necessary instincts. He needs to show more of a playmaking ability and a better nose for the football. Smith could easily improve his draft stock with a breakout season or he could completely fall off the map.
Bold Statement: Smith will have double digit sacks but not be a really coveted prospect
Games Viewed: Illinois ('10), Nebraska ('10), Iowa ('10)
- Smith is undersized for the defensive end position
- However, has good size if asked to move to linebacker
- He struggles to hold at the point of attack and looks to avoid blocks rather than stacking
- His athletic ability and short area quickness makes him a likely candidate to move to linebacker
- He possesses good blitz timing and the ability to create pressure off of a stunt
- Smith is an active player and always working this way to the football
- While quick and athletic, Smith struggles to get to the edge and flatten out
- His struggles rushing the passer are due to his high pad level
- He also struggles getting off the football due to poor snap awareness
- Instincts and football IQ seem to be an issue with Smith as he also struggles to find the football
- As an indication of his athletic ability the Missouri staff felt comfortable letting Smith spy speedy Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez. "
Has decent size, but needs to get stronger; also has adequate quickness and closing speed, but doesn’t really explode upfield and struggles to get off blocks once engaged."
Has moved inside to rush the passer on third downs, can be used on defensive line stunts, can shoot gaps and create pressure off of a stunt, was used similarly to former teammate Aldon Smith... Gets his hands up in passing lanes when he can't get to the quarterback...
Gives a good effort against the run, can get off one-on-one blocks to make plays and changes direction well, and avoids blocks well when stunting to limit inside runs... Generally takes good angles downfield in pursuit, has a high motor, does not give up on plays, goes for the strip...
Has some experience standing up and is a candidate to stand up as a 3-4 OLB at the next level, is a fluid enough athlete who moves well in space, should adjust well and has good size for a linebacker...
Very experienced player who saw playing time immediately as a true freshman, hadn't missed a game in his collegiate career until a dislocated elbow sidelined him for two in 2011; solid intangibles, good locker room guy, earned the team's outstanding underclassmen leadership award in 2010.
Negatives -- Is somewhat lean and can be pushed back at the point of attack, plays with leverage to the best of his ability but is simply out-matched at times versus stronger linemen and lacks the anchor strength to set the edge; is undersized for the defensive end position, has the growth potential to add some bulk without losing any athleticism...
Marginal balance, on the ground too much... A bit of an inconsistent get-off, can be a step late at times and therefore isn't an elite pass rusher...
Gets upright off the snap and exposes his frame, can be pushed away from the play, looks to avoid blocks by running around them; doesn't extend them his arms, inconsistent hand usage, doesn't shed particularly well... Is overly reliant on speed and lacks any power or counter moves, limiting his effectiveness as a pass rusher...
Doesn't have great instincts, can be over-aggressive and lose contain, struggles to find the ball and takes himself out of position to make plays... A bit of an underachiever at the collegiate level, which doesn't bode well for the NFL, might never be anything more than a reserve."