Brian Smith   OLB/DE   Missouri

 

STRENGTHS 

This kid (before he got injured) was as good coming out as DeMarcus Ware was when he came out.  In fact, he was better.  He is smart and can play more than one position and is a pass rushing demon.  He has the body type that could easily add on 20 to 30 more pounds without it affecting he speed or quickness.  He reminded me a lot of Julius Peterson (OLB Seattle Seahawks).  Brian has excellent change of direction skills, speed and burst.  He showed leadership skills and was a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler.  He had a variety of pass rushing moves and could take a game over whenever he wanted to.  If Brian had not broken his hip, I would have considered him a top ten pick in this draft.

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

The very first question for the team that might be still interested in drafting this kid is whether or not he can pass a physical.  Then, of course, you have to see how far along he is in his rehab and ask a doctor if there are going to be any repercussions and physical limitations from a broken hip. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 1/ Injury Flag

If this kid has the ability to come back from this injury without any significant problems, you are adding to your team a player that can be as impactful as Julian Peterson or Jason Taylor are to their teams.  This kid was the real deal and I think he would have been the top OLB in this draft.  He is a leader and plays the game with character, intelligence, passion and talent.  He understands situational football and makes the players around him better.  It was very upsetting to see a kid with this much talent who played football with such passion go down with an injury like this.  Iím guessing with the right doctor and rehab, it might take some time for him to heal correctly, but if a doctor says that he should have no problems playing football after he is fully healed, then this kid is worth the wait and a pick in the second day of this draft.  You are not going to see this kidís name on any board right now unless he can workout for a team on his college pro day.  If he can work out, then Iím going to guess that he might show up as a 6th or 7th round pick.  If I were a team that had some extra picks in third, fourth or fifth rounds, I would check this kid out and think hard about drafting him.  I mean, if you can waste a third round pick on a kid like Maurice Clarett or any other player with obvious off field character problems, I would think that it would be worth it to draft Brian coming off a broken hip!  Letís weight the two together for a minute and make a decision.  Drafting a player who is about to go to jail or Ö drafting a player coming off an injury. You be the judge. 

Drew Boylhart

February/2007