2015 NFL Draft: Preston Smith Scouting Report


Every year there are talented prospects that fly a bit under the radar throughout the draft season. Mississippi State defensive lineman Preston Smith fits that description.

Before profiling Smith’s strengths and weaknesses as a defensive line prospect, here are his workout numbers from the NFL Combine — courtesy of Mockdraftable.com.


Preston Smith is an extremely versatile defensive lineman. He lines up all over the defensive line, from 0-technique all the way to a 6-technique rushing the passer off the edge. He shows the ability to not only rush from the outside, but is also a capable interior rusher.

When rushing from the 0-technique, Smith shows incredible snap anticipation which allows him to get good rushes on the center and guard off the snap.

Smith has a wide array of pass rush moves that allow him to inflict a lot of damage — especially on the interior. While he is an average edge rusher, his best work comes when he’s rushing from the 0-technique to the 3-technique.

Smith is also a solid run defender, both as a defensive end and tackle. He shows a nice ability to anchor and not give up too much ground in the run game. Smith also plays zone blocking schemes well — gap integrity is key when playing against zone offenses, and he generally does a good job of stay in his gap and doesn’t get washed down the line of scrimmage.


Smith lacks the burst off the edge and doesn’t give much of an impact as a rusher off the edge. He’s also a bit of a “tweener” at this point in his career — he’s not big enough to play defensive tackle in a 4-3 under scheme, but he’s not explosive enough to play off the edge.

Smith could also use more functional strength to play against the run for the next level — it would also go a long way in helping him develop a bull rush move against heavier guards and tackles. While his swim and rip moves are strengths for him, he tends to stand up too high when executing these moves, which will expose him to heavy handed punches by NFL linemen.


Middle of the second round to early in the third round.


Michael Bennett, Seattle Seahawks