Chris Smith – Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – Arkansas
Size – 6011 – 266 – 4.71
Strong Points – Athletic, initial quickness, explosive, use hands, pass rush, tackle, very long arms
Weak Points – Height to play defensive end, no experience in pass coverage, defense against the run, shedding run blocks
2013 Stats - 36 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 21.5 career sacks
Summation – Chris is a fourth-year senior and a two-year starter for the Razorbacks. He lines up at defensive end and plays from both a two-point and three-point stance. In the tape viewed, when he was playing on his feet, he never dropped into coverage.
He is best as a pass rusher. He has very good snap reaction/anticipation, and often, is out of the blocks before his opponent has a chance to set. He stays low and can use his hands to “jolt” his opponent. He is explosive through the hips generating the power needed to be an effective bull rusher. He is athletic with quick feet and uses a variety of moves. He has a spin move that he is very effective with. He also has the body control to use counter moves and shows a quick burst off blocks to the target. With his 34” arms he can create leverage advantages and make up for his lack of height.
Smith can be inconsistent versus the run. While he reacts quickly, I have seen him lose contain and get caught inside too often versus outside runs. While he is strong, he lacks size and can get overpowered at the point by big linemen and shed slowly. He flashes enough to show you he can get it done if he stays disciplined to his technique.
Smith is a good pursuit player who has speed and takes good angles to the ball. He is an effective tackler who hits and wraps.
Overall, Smith can play defensive end in some 4-3 schemes but would be more of a designated pass rusher than a full time player. At the combine, he showed he could drop into coverage, but his hands were not very good (he body caught most throws). His best bet to be a fulltime player in the NFL would be as a 3-4 OLB where he will be used as a pass rusher on passing downs. I can see him being a starter by his second year in this type of situation.
Grade – B 6.6