The 2011 NFL Draft is taking place on Thursday, April 28, and the Redskins will have the No. 10 pick in the first round. Many different players have been projected to be picked in that spot in various 2011 NFL mock drafts, and the Redskins certainly have a lot of needs. Which players will be good fits for the Redskins in that spot? We will provide scouting reports and let you know who we like in this StoryStream. Next up: USC Tackle Tyron Smith.
NFL Comparison: I see a little bit of Jets LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson in Smith in that his primary attribute is his athleticism. smith also has excellent size and very long arms, two things the Brick-man is known for. He's not quite as big, but he's at least comparable.
Strengths: As I just mentioned, Smith's best attribute is his athleticism. He's much more chiseled than your standard left tackle. He can get to the second level quickly on running plays and work around the edge on speedy pass rushers. He has good hands and fast feet.
Weaknesses: His athleticism is good, but his size could use some work. It's hard for me to call a guy who weighs over 300 lbs "small" but Smith will probably need to add a little bit more weight if he is going to be a successful tackle in the NFL. He has the speed to handle the smaller linebackers who should be trying to get around the edge, but at his current weight, he might not be able to handle a bull rush from some of the league's stronger defensive lineman. But he has a big frame and should be able to add more muscle and weight as he gets into an NFL conditioning program.
Redskins Fit: Smith actually fits better with the Redskins than he would with most of the teams that could take him. Smith played at right tackle for the Trojans last year, and that is the position that the Redskins would want him to play because they have Trent Williams to handle the left side of the line. Most of the other teams that would take Smith would need him to transition to the left tackle spot at some point.
I'm sure that he would be able to make that transition in some time, but because of his size and athleticism he would be better suited to play on the right side. Smith and Williams would be a great foundation for the Redskins' offensive line for years to come, which would be delightfully refreshing.
Where He Should Be Drafted: In a lot of the Mock Drafts I've been seeing around the Internet, Smith is projected to go to the Cowboys at No. 9. I've always thought that would be a little high for him to go, but the Cowboys do need the help. There has also been some talk about the Cowboys moving around some in the first round, so who knows where Smith might go. But I wouldn't be surprised if he was on the board when the Redskins picked; and it would likely be a very tough decision to pass on him.