Donovan Smith   OT/OG   Penn St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Donovan is a big, powerful, athletic offensive lineman who can play more than one position on the offensive line for the team that selects him. He shows quick feet and the quickness to get out of his stance if moved inside as a guard. He is excellent at pulling and going to the second level to make his blocks. Donovan has the ďfunctionalĒ strength you look for in an offensive lineman. He has strength and power in his lower body and the strength in his hands and arms to change the direction of a pass rusher. Donovan has quick feet that will help him recover when he gets beat and push defensive lineman up the field so that his quarterback can slide in the pocket and extend plays. He looks on film to be very smart and works well picking up stunts with his teammates. He does an excellent job pulling and getting out in front of sweeps and screens because this kid, in spite of his size, has the athletic talent and quick feet that make it all seem easy. Donovan has the talent, size, foot quickness and strength to be a potential all pro offensive lineman at the tackle or guard position if he can step up to the challenge.

CONCERNS
As with most athletic players, Donovan has more faith and confidence in his athletic ability, relying more on this and less on using the correct techniques. The next level will be the first time this kid will be challenged athletically so using techniques consistently will be new for him. When he fires out and blocks in the running game, he doesnít bring his feet and gets off balance often. When he is passing blocking, he gets lazy using his punch and setting up with balance. In short, this kid better grow up real fast because the challenge for him at the next level is real.

BOTTOM LINE
Donovan almost seems bored when he plays. I donít think he is lazy, I just feel that he is not challenged and, so far, his athletic ability has been enough to get him to where he is right now, but it wonít be enough at the next level. He has to get serious about football. Iím told Donovan has already reached his goals in school, so Iím giving him the benefit of the doubt that football was his second priority instead of his first, which tells me this kidís character is right where it should be. But now itís time to get in better football shape, hone his craft and become the potential Pro Bowl offensive lineman I think he can become. Passing on this kid in the draft for very long will be a big mistake because he can play left or right tackle and may also play left or right guard. If someone is smart, they will give him a real challenge and see if he can make the snaps at the center position. If he can, then Iím not sure you should wait too long before you select him because this kid could be a special offensive lineman. Letís just hope he starts to take playing football seriously from now on because he will learn fast that it takes more than talent to play at the NFL level.

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2015