MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans flanked by Tyron Smith #70 and Ronald Johnson #83 runs off the field after the Trojans scored a touchdown during the first half of the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 18 2010 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
As a preview of sorts for the 2011 NFL Combine at SBNation.com, I opined on the five first-round NFL Draft prospects that I believe have the most to gain from strong weekends in Indianapolis. One of the names on that list, USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith, is already off to a good start.
Smith, who never played left tackle in college and spent most of his career in the 280-285 pound range, weighed in at 307 pounds on Thursday morning. That will provide a bit of comfort to scouts worried about his weight; we knew he had the frame to get bigger, now he'll just need to prove that he can keep the weight, and maintain his athleticism.
Tony Pauline, who among others reported Smith's weigh-in numbers, also relayed a surprising 36.4-inch arm length measurement for Smith. Arm length is a key measurement for offensive linemen; scouts like longer-armed tackles, as long arms keeps defenders out of the tackle's body and allows them to better protect the edge. Short arms, by prototypical tackle standards, is a big reason why Bryan Bulaga slipped to the latter portion of Round 1 a year ago.
It's a good start for Smith, who many consider to be the most talented tackle available this year. If by some miracle the Buffalo Bills finagle a trade down in April, Smith should be a guy on the team's radar.