Trey Smith was a prized recruit coming out of high school being courted by the whose who of college football programs before choosing to sign with the home state Volunteers. Smith lived up to the hype starting all 12 games as a true freshman and quickly became the Vols top offensive lineman. During his sophomore season Smith continued to play well but missed the final five games of the season with blood clots in his lungs. Now Trey Smith enters his third season with the Volunteers looking to be in good health and establish himself as one of the best NFL Draft eligible tackles.
What Smith Does Well
Strength and Power are the names of Smith’s game as he uses that to bully defenders and move them off their spot. In the run game Smith uses good hand placement to lock onto the defender and either steer them to be sealed off or just leans on them and is able to keep his legs moving to drive them back. In pass protection Smith is at his best when he’s able to short set and attack the defenders using his strong hands to lock on and then mirror defenders. Using heavy hands Smith is able to deliver a strong punch to defenders keeping them at bay and allowing him to stay in front of their pass rush.
Concerns about Smith
Smith is light on his feet but the longer he has to move the more vulnerable he is to getting beat. While Smith has solid initial lateral burst to stay with pass rushers the deeper the pass rush goes Smith tends to slow down and can give up the corner. Smith is able to use his length to cut off the corner but that can only do you so much. Balance can also be an issue for Smith as he can be knocked back by bull rushes or get caught leaning and knocked off balance off power.
Trey Smith NFL Draft Outlook
Under normal circumstances this would be a huge season for Smith as he would be vying for the top underclassmen tackle. Instead 2019 is huge for Smith because of his health. Yes we’d love to see Smith healthy and playing football, but blood clots in his lungs is very serious and even life threatening. A couple years back Antonio Garcia was drafted in the 3rd round as a promising tackle prospect but missed his entire rookie year with blood clots in his lungs and has not been able to recover. Luckily the Vols caught this early and hopefully Smith is able to beat it and get back to dominating defensive ends. Smith has some flaws but he also has 1st round potential. How he does recovering from this will determine if he can still be a first round prospect or if teams could shy away because of the uncertainty.