2022 NFL Draft Profile: Tulsa Offensive Tackle Tyler Smith
With the Broncos pressing problem at the right tackle, the team has already recruited a few prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft who can help fill that void. One of those players was Tulsa OT Tyler Smith, who the Broncos use one of their “top 30” visits.
The Broncos started their top 30 hits this week. Among the prospects scheduled to visit team headquarters is Tulsa OT Tyler Smith, per source. He’s 6-5, 325 with big feet, according to scouting reports.
Smith replaced by Joby Branion, who has just negotiated his second contract of more than 100 million dollars for Von Miller. #9sports
—Mike Klis (@mikeklis) March 25, 2022
The 335th-ranked rookie at Texas State in 2019, Smith received offers from teams like Houston and Navy but chose Tulsa, where he started the final two games of his freshman season. Smith was named Freshman All-American by the FWAA and Athleticism in 2020 and also won First Team All-AAC that year. Smith won the All-AAC second team in 2021.
Smith will be 21 as a rookie. He’s allowed just 16 career pressures on 764 passing blocks.
- Mammoth of a tackle at 6’4 325, wide and well built
- Wicked and Violent Race Blocker
- Elite grip strength and overwhelming power at the point of attack
- Quick out of position
- Anchors well against power
- Good lateral ability on the edge
- Elite finishing mentality, off-the-charts competitive tenacity
- Athletics manifests itself in space
- Absolutely gross dirt in pass protection
- Hands spray everywhere and not accurate or timed
- Base and footwork are all over the place and giving him trouble. stops his feet too often
- Fails to define and hold the outside corner
- Doesn’t align targets well in space
- Plays too high, poor pad level makes it fall off blocks easily
- The vertical set will be abused at the NFL level without further growth
- Lets defenders get into his chest too easily
- Unruly style of play, drew 16 penalties last season. Will be a holding machine without growth. Suspended for fight at the end of 2020.
- Only 34% snaps on real passing sets. 8 of his 9 pressures allowed have come in that 34%.
There’s so much to sort out with Tyler Smith’s game, it’s hard to know where to start. A team is going to have to start from scratch and develop him accordingly, because I don’t think he’s ready for NFL competition. Many of his footwork issues while playing tackle and dealing with speed rushers could warrant a move inside for protection in the eyes of NFL evaluators. There are enough basic traits to start working in his physical tools, competitive toughness and overwhelming strength for him to have potential as an eventual starter in the NFL. Smith is one of the youngest prospects in this entire draft class, and his game reflects that. He’ll need patience and proper development to hit the ceiling on his draft tools, but it’s something the NFL has proven time and again they’re not good at providing. Its landing spot will be crucial for future projections.
It’s hard to say he’s a good fit for Denver. Knocking a player away from their natural position, no matter how crude, is a developmental setback, something Smith doesn’t need at the start of his career. It will also be on the heavier side of an OT outside zone. In a division with the passing skills that AFC West boasts, I would be very skeptical to throw him into the fire as a rookie in a new position. His draft pick will likely warrant quick results, which dictates rapid development. Unfortunately, we just don’t know how good new OL coach Butch Barry is, which makes his projection all the more difficult. Denver is also looking to compete right away, which doesn’t usually pair well with development projects like Tyler Smith.