14 Jun Preseason Scouting Notes: Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee
Senior | 6’6” 335 lbs | Jackson, TN | First Team All-SEC
With sufficient athleticism for a player of his size, Trey Smith displays solid recovery balance, initial quickness, and good explosiveness off the line. He can be limited blocking in space by his less than ideal change of direction ability and foot speed.
Smith excels in bulldozing defenders. He explodes out of his stance with good low pad level, rolls his hips well to knock the DT back off balance, and uses his powerful tree trunk thighs to churn his legs to re-set the line of scrimmage. He keeps his arms extended well with strong hands to keep the defender square, and can steer the defender out of the play with his strong upper body. His tenacity makes him especially effective in short yardage situations. He has solid mobility to pull, but often advertises his intentions by lining up further off the line than normal. He often allows his pads to rise on the move, limiting his initial contact power and ability to sustain.
Good zone blocking ability with the lateral agility to run with DTs or DEs and the pad level and hip roll to sustain. Displays the competitiveness to re-fit his hands when knocked off and can re-leverage on the rare occasion he loses the pad level battle. Good ability to seal as a combo blocker but lacks the change of direction ability to consistently get square at the 2nd level or in space, limiting his effectiveness.
Smith possesses elite anchor ability due to his knee bend, ankle flexion, wide base, and extremely strong lower body. He displays the lateral agility to mirror DLs in pass pro and has the range to help across the protection. An area where he struggles is identifying and reacting to stunts and blitzes. His awareness on late blitzes is borderline embarrassing, showing a lack of peripheral vision while allowing LBs or DBs to run right past him. He can fail to communicate stunts with the OT as well and allow defenders through.
Missed the last 5 games of the 2018 season with blood clots in his lungs, but played every game in 2019.
Smith will thrive on the interior in a gap-based scheme, where he can overpower DLs and re-set the line of scrimmage. As a pass protector, he will be able to anchor vs the league’s best bull rushers, but may be susceptible to stunts and blitzes. Though he could function in a zone scheme, his power would not be properly utilized, and he will struggle with pad level on the move.
What to look for in 2020:
Can he improve pass protection awareness? If this flaw in his game can be fixed, gap scheme teams will be chomping at the bit to call his name on draft night. It will be fun to watch him go up against one of the top DL prospects, Christian Barmore, when UT plays their hated rival Alabama on Oct. 24.
Smith possesses the elite gap blocking and anchor ability to be a top OL prospect, but his lack of awareness may see him slide out of the top few picks. Look for him to be taken in the middle of the first round.