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Patriots NFL Draft Prospect: OT Tyron Smith, USC

Name: OT Tyron Smith

School: USC

Size: 6'5, 307 lbs

Expected Round: 1st

3 Cone: 7.47s

Career Stats: Click Here (2 seasons starting at RT)

Player Previews: CBS; Walter FootballNFL Combine [If you would like your website included, please e-mail me!]

Strengths: Great upside and okay frame to grow. Solid pass blocker. Solid balance and sliding ability. Able to handle the initial move of most pass rushers. Athletic. Great initial quickness and is able to block in the second level. Plays with solid attitude and aggression.

Weaknesses: Coming off knee surgery. Not a strong run blocker. Was annihilated by Cameron Jordan this past season. Just added ~20 pounds, uncertainty about how he can play with that weight. Needs to get stronger. Inexperienced overall, no experience at LT. Struggles against second moves and counters. Missed 2009 bowl game due to academic ineligibility.

Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!

Why the Patriots?: The Patriots are looking for a tackle, and if Sebastian Vollmer moves to LT they could draft a right tackle. Smith has solid RT experience. Only reason.

Why Not the Patriots?: Smith is young (only 20), lacks LT experience, would cost a top 20 draft pick, played at 280 pounds, was dominated by Cameron Jordan, is way too raw of a prospect to be taken in the first round, not very smart, and has way too many question marks.

Verdict: Absolutely not. Smith does not meet the qualifications of a Patriots' lineman and I have no idea why he's regarded by some as a top 10 prospect. I'd take Nate Solder and maybe even Derek Sherrod over Smith. He's got some upside, but he's a product of the media. Watch him versus California, Virginia, and Oregon State and you'll see a player who is terrible at cut blocks and gets away with a ridiculous amount of holding calls. He'll get eaten alive by larger 3-4 DEs at the next level, unless the ~20 pounds he added is all muscle. He misjudges his blocks way too frequently, surrendering the interior lane to speed rushers.

Tyron Smith vs California

Tyron Smith vs Virginia

Tyron Smith vs Oregon State