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- Position: Offensive Tackle (OT)
- Class: Junior (redshirt)
- College: Penn State
- Ht/Wt: 6'6", 338 pounds
Donovan Smith stands out in this year's group of linemen as one of the biggest in the class; he's basically Cordy Glenn sized. Smith is a strong lineman with powerful hands who has good mobility in spite of his weight. His initial anchor is weaker than you'd expect, but he can re-anchor with a strong base.
Smith's kick slide is usually good, but sometimes his steps are unbalanced and it messes up his base. In pass protection, he mirrors his opponent well, but his set up is slow; he can be beaten off the snap by a fast rip or counter. Smith is a strong drive blocker, but as he walks a defender backwards, he starts bending at the waist, losing leverage. He generates good movement in the running game, and will open some holes playing as a guard or as a tackle. He moves well and looks capable of pulling across the formation. His strong punch jars defenders at the snap.
The 21-year-old Smith kind of reminds me of Cyrus Kouandjio in some ways.
Wait, let me finish.
Like Kouandjio, Smith has an excellent physical base to build upon. Like Kouandjio, Smith shows the ability to latch on with his massive hands and drive a blocker down in the run game. Like Kouandjio, Smith played left tackle in college, but is probably better suited for the right side in the NFL. And like Kouandjio, I think Smith's technique is underdeveloped, and he'll probably be messed up more when he switches sides as a rookie. He could also project pretty well to either guard position if coaches would rather take that route. Based on the parts of his game that haven't yet developed, I wouldn't trust him at left tackle, and I'd probably consider him a future starter, not a rookie starter. That has me grading him around the third round.