DE Jordan Smith, Alabama-Birmingham* (6’7”, 255)

Background:

First saw the field as a redshirt sophomore, stepping into a starting role and finishing with an impressive line of 48-14.5-8.0, forcing three fumbles. Followed that up with a 41-9.0-4.5 line over eight games the following year.

Positives:

Comes with two years of solid production. Has excellent size and length for a pro edge defender. Regularly takes snaps out of both two- and three-point stances on both sides of the defense. Plays the game with physicality. First step is very impressive. Has an effective swim move which is his go-to way of generating pressure. Mixes in some inside moves to his approach. Flashes a spin move that’s a little bit out of control but could become something down the line; already violent, but not tight enough. Demonstrates solid closing burst to finish. Overall motor/work rate looks good. Length and athleticism give him an impressive tackling radius. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes.

Negatives:

Needs to continue developing bulk and filling out his frame; Looks gangly and thin in the lower body. Relies on quickness, but would like to see more of a power element. Lapses into throwing his body at opponents at times. Struggles to anchor at the line and can be put on skates. Many of his plays in the run game came on free releases into the backfield. Needs to develop more variety in his moves, being overly reliant on the swim. A tall player who plays high. Really struggles with balance when speed-rushing around the edge. Can get caught bending at the waist a little bit too often. Wasn’t really asked to drop into coverage very often, and struggles to work through congestion when he does. Has just one career batted pass despite his size/length.

Summary:

A tall, long-limbed edge rusher who has an impressive first step and can already use a swim move to generate pressure, but who has a little bit of a one-dimensional game at this point. Plays with physicality but doesn’t have very impressive functional strength or much of a power element in his game, and struggles to win around the edge with speed because of his poor balance. Consequently, will need time to get bigger and stronger and to develop more different moves. Probably more of a third-day pick unless someone falls in love with his potential.

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