Telvin Smith   LB/S   Florida St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

STRENGTHS
Telvin has the size and the athleticism to play more than one position for you on defense. He is like a coach on the field and makes the players around him better. He shows on film to have strong change of direction skills and instincts along with excellent football intelligence. Telvin has the cover skills for nickel-dime situations, which gives him the ability to stay on the field in some capacity for every down. He has good feet and balance and is smart when playing zone coverage. He has the ability to string out plays when he plays outside and is solid at shedding blockers and making tackles when he uses the correct techniques. Telvin has the talent to be a starting defensive player for the team that drafts him.

CONCERNS
Telvin has to become a more secure tackler. He has to wrap up better and increase his upper body strength. Right now his upper body is not strong enough to play the linebacker position at the next level over a 16 game schedule. When he uses good techniques and keeps bigger blockers off his body, he does a nice job of shedding blockers and making tackles. The problem is, right now Telvin plays the run too high and is not using good techniques on every down and will get washed out when he plays inside close to the line of scrimmage. He has to learn to recognize the blocking scheme coming at him on running downs and get his pad level lower and shock the blocker (getting the blocker off balance) and then shedding and making the tackle. If he doesn’t meet and great the blocker before the blocker gets to him and keep his pad levels lower gaining leverage, he will get washed out every single time. Size is not the issue -- technique, leverage, strength and better anticipation are the issues and these are all correctable.

BOTTOM LINE
The truth is that if Telvin tackled better, no one would be talking about his size and slim frame. If he anticipated and used his long arms to shock the blocker, all the scouts, coaches and GM’s would be talking about is what position is the best fit for him at the next level. I wouldn’t move Telvin to another position. To me, he fits as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. I’d draft him and tell him that you’re not getting on the field until you use better and more consistent techniques against the run and make more sure tackles. His size (for me) is not the issue; he is a coach on the field and his leadership skills are what attracted me to developing Telvin and maybe moving him into the middle if I use a Tampa-2 style defense, but not if he doesn’t want to improve his “against the run” techniques. If he doesn’t get better then it’s on him, but it has nothing to do with his size. I think he will do it. I think he wants it badly enough and, if he does improve, you have a solid linebacker who can stay on the field for all three downs and a coach on the field to help lead your defense. Telvin’s true value and what would attract me to selecting him in this draft is his ability to be a coach on the field. That is his true value for the next level. He could be a bigger version of London Fletcher. Think about it.

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2014