Weight: 250 pounds
Drafted By: Denver Broncos (5th round, 146th overall)
40 Yard Dash: No Combine or Pro Day workout — injured
Career Highlights via WKU athletics site
2011: Named to the second team all-Sun Belt Conference list after leading the Hilltopper defense with 7.5 sacks on the season and finished second with 11 tackles for loss – both career highs…Had double-digit tackles for loss the second year in a row, with losses totaling 100 yards lost…Played in all 12 games, posting 38 total tackles, including 23 tackles of the solo variety…Had two sacks on two different occasions, with the first coming in week four against Arkansas State…Finished the game with five tackles…His second two-sack performance came against Louisiana-Monroe, as he finished with a pair of sacks totaling 15 yards lost, to go along with six total tackles and a career-high four tackles for loss in helping WKU to its fourth consecutive win…Had a sack against Louisiana-Lafayette (10/22/11), to go along with three tackles…Had three tackles or more in five different games and posted tackles for loss in seven games…Posted three tackles on the road against No. 1-ranked LSU as a starter at defensive end…Closed the regular season leading the WKU defense with five total tackles against Troy, including a solo sack for a loss of 10 yards.
2010: Named to Phil Steele’s all-Sun Belt Conference third team at season’s end…Played in all 12 games, drawing 10 starting assignments at defensive end…Ranked fifth on the team with 47 total tackles…Ranked second on the squad with 10.5 tackles for loss, while recording a team-best four sacks…Posted a career and season-high seven tackles against Middle Tennessee, with three of those stops going for loss…Finished with at least four tackles eight times in 11 games…Recorded full sacks against Nebraska, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette, while assisting on sacks against Indiana and MTSU…Also forced fumbles against ULM and ULL, and recovered a fumble against Indiana…Was credited with pass breakups against both Florida Atlantic and Troy.
2009: Played in all 12 games as a redshirt freshman, making two starts…Compiled 12 total tackles on the year, with seven solo stops, including a solo tackle for an 11-yard loss…Saw action in week one on the road at Tennessee…Made first collegiate tackle in the home opener against South Florida, making a solo tackle for a loss of 11 yards…Posted a pair of tackles in week four on the road against Navy…Had one tackle in week five at home against Florida International…Collected two solo tackles in week eight at North Texas…Made first career start in week nine at home against Troy, making one solo stop…Had two tackles in the season finale against Arkansas State.
Scouting Report/Player Notes
As a senior in 2012, Smith led the nation with 12.5 sacks and 1.25 sacks per game before he hurt his knee and had to sit out the rest of the season. This is a dynamic pass rusher from a smaller school who pretty much dominates the competition. He can bend around the edge and has good quickness off the snap, and just a knack for getting pressure on the quarterback. Smith was invited to the Combine, so he had to have gone through intensive medical testing prior to the draft. His upside is immense. At 6’5″ 250 pounds, he has not quite yet filled out his frame, and coming off of an injury, he will likely get under-drafted. The NFL really values players who can get after the quarterback, and this guy can do that. He doesn’t come from an SEC school, but he dominated one. The main game people talk about when you look at this kid’s college game footage is his performance against Alabama, where he had three sacks. The Crimson Tide had one of the best offensive lines I have ever evaluated, including a guy in D.J. Fluker who was drafted by the Chargers as the 11th overall pick, and there were instances when Smith made Fluker look like he was standing in cement. Smith also did work on Cyrus Kouandjio, a sophomore tackle who is projected as one of the best players in the country going into 2012. Needless to say, he put out his best performance against a team that put him on the grid nationally.
The guy simply makes plays working upfield. He is not a run-stuffing defensive end by any means, but he doesn’t have to be. He needs to work on that part of his game and get a little more stout against the run, but on third down, you aren’t going to find too many pass rushers in this draft who are as instinctive at getting to the quarterback as Smith.
Video Highlights (via YouTube)