Patriots Rookie Projections: Lee Smith

The seventh in a series looking at the Patriots' 2011 NFL Draft picks, and the roles they might play for the Patriots next year.

Name: Lee Smith

School: Marshall

Position: Tight End

Drafted: 5th Round, 159th Overall

Projected Stats: 3 Games Played, 1 Start; 1 reception, 7 yards

Projected Role: Lee Smith is a big body who joins a crowded group at the tight end position for the New England Patriots.  Smith is an excellent blocker, arguably the best in-line blocking tight end in the 2011 NFL Draft.  However, he is not polished as a receiver and certainly will not take playing time or a roster spot away from Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez because of that.  He will get a chance to compete with Alge Crumpler for a spot, although I believe Crumpler's veteran leadership, toughness, smarts, and experience will make him a very tough cut.  Smith will have to prove he is worth keeping around as a fourth tight end, or else he will land on the practice squad.  Either way, come 2012, Smith will likely be the top in-line blocking tight end for the Patriots, if they can get him to the practice squad without him being claimed off waivers.

Bottom Line: Practice squad in 2011, top blocking tight end in 2012

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pats Pulpit

You must be a member of Pats Pulpit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pats Pulpit. You should read them.

Join Pats Pulpit

You must be a member of Pats Pulpit to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pats Pulpit. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker