Preston Smith was a 2014 First Team ALL-SEC selection as selected by the coaches and was the only player in NCAA History who won defensive lineman of the week 3 consecutive times. He amassed at least 1 TFL in 12 of his final 13 games.
The Dallas Cowboys are hoping that DeMarcus Lawrence will be able to fill the very large shoes of DeMarcus Ware and I believe he will have an illustrious career at RDE. However, they need someone to compliment him on the left side. Preston Smith is currently listed as the 9th ranked defensive end by outlets like CBS, but as usual, I disagree. Smith faced arguably much better competition every week in the SEC than many of the players ranked ahead of him. That being said, I believe he is a great candidate for “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series.
Cas started â€œThe Guys No One Is Talking Aboutâ€ series years ago and it has become one of the trademarks of Your Daily Cowboys Football Fix. We pride ourselves in providing our readers with the best scouting reports on the net. This series has produced numereous players who have gone on to have illustrious NFL careers. This post will feature RB Tyler Varga.
Will all of the players we profile in this series go on to be starters in the NFL? Absolutely not. Some may not make final cuts, some may be special team players, some complimentary players and or backups. However, the goal is to not only find those sleepers that 32 NFL GMâ€™s missed on, but get these guys some recognition.Â Some of the recent success stories include: Justin Houston, Vontaze Burfict, Henry Hynosky, Arian Foster, Wes Welker, Cole Beasley, Tyrone Crawford, Buster Skrine and Kyle Arrington to name a few. All of the players from this series went from the middle rounds to undrafted. With all of that being said, we believe in Tom Landryâ€™s three year rule. Soâ€¦ before you knock one of these guys because they were not 1st year starters, exhibit a little bit of patience. Some guys need a few years to develop. Rome wasnâ€™t built in a day. Our philosophy is: anyone can write about all of the big-name media hyped players, but where is the challenge in that? We want to find the next stars who were â€œThe Guys No One Is Talking About.â€
Height|Weight: 6-6Â 270
College: Mississippi State
40 Time: 4.74 (Top Performer)
Bench Reps: 24
Broad Jump: 121.0
- 2015 Senior Bowl Participant
- 2014 First Team All-SEC: Coachesâ€™
- 2014 Second Team All-SEC: Associated Press
- Senior Bowl National Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 20, 2014)
- Three-Time SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week (Sept. 1, 8, 13, 2014)
- 2013 Liberty Bowl Most Outstanding Defensive Player
Official Mississippi State Team Bio:
CAREER: Star defensive end who blossomed as a junior and finished his career as one of the SECâ€™s top senior players … One of the most disruptive and athletic defensive linemen in school history who forced seven turnovers in his career (five forced fumbles and two interceptions) â€¦ Became a full-time starter as a sophomore in 2012 … Played in 47 games with 24 starts … Recorded 134 tackles, 27 tackles for a loss of 139 yards and 16 sacks for a loss of 100 yards â€¦ Forced at least one fumble in each season and finished with five total â€¦ The only player in SEC history to be named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for three-consecutive weeks (Sept. 1, 8 and 15, 2014), becoming the first league player since Johnny Manziel to win three-straight weekly conference honors â€¦ Selected to the Senior Bowl following his 2014 campaign â€¦ Recorded at least one tackle for loss in 12 of his final 13 games.
2014 SENIOR SEASON: A first-team All-SEC defensive end as selected by the leagueâ€™s coaches â€¦ Also was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for three consecutive weeks â€¦ Started all 13 games at defensive end â€¦ Led the squad in tackles for loss (15), sacks (nine) and quarterback hurries (15) â€¦ Notched two interceptions, forced two fumbles and ranked second in the SEC and eighth nationally in blocked kicks with two â€¦ Ranked sixth in the SEC in sacks and fifth in tackles for loss â€¦ Recorded his first career interception and first career blocked kick in the season-opener on Aug. 30 vs. Southern Miss, in addition to collecting two tackles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry â€¦ Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week again after tallying five tackles and one tackle for loss in the Sept. 6 win vs. UAB, along with returning an interception 21 yards for his first career touchdown â€¦ Became the first FBS defensive lineman with a pick six since Sept. 21, 2013 â€¦ Tied a career high with two sacks in the Sept. 13 win at South Alabama, while also forcing a fumble and blocking his second field goal of the season â€¦ Totaled five tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and a sack in the Sept. 20 win at No. 8 LSU â€¦ Registered four tackles, one sack and a career-high four quarterback hurries in the Oct. 11 win against No. 2 Auburn â€¦ Made a season-high six tackles in the road win at Kentucky on Oct. 25, including 1.5 sacks and a pass breakup â€¦ Had five tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries against Arkansas â€¦ Collected two tackles for loss for -16 yards, including a sack, against UT Martin on Nov. 8 â€¦ Recorded three solo tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry at No. 3 Alabama on Nov. 15 â€¦ Tied a season high with six tackles, including one for loss, in his Senior Day win against Vanderbilt.
2013 JUNIOR SEASON: One of the leaders on the defensive line who started in 11 games and played in 12 contests … Missed the Bowling Green game (10/12) … Racked up 44 tackles â€“ 29 solo â€“ including 6.5 tackles for a loss of 28 yards and 2.5 sacks for a loss of 15 yards … Ranked third on the squad in tackles for loss … Registered the second-most quarterback hurries on the team with nine … Forced first fumble of the campaign at Auburn (9/14), knocking the ball away from Tre Mason after a 13-yard completion in the third quarter … Went on a five-game streak of collecting at least a half a tackle for loss yardage (LSU, BGSU, UK, SC, at A&M) … Tallied a career-best three tackles for loss and two sacks in dominant seven-tackle game vs. LSU (10/5) … Became the first Bulldog with two or more sacks in a game since Fletcher Cox booked 2.0 at Kentucky on Oct. 29, 2011 … Finished with a career-high eight tackles, including two key tackles for loss in the final drive against Kentucky (10/24) … Combined with Benardrick McKinney to drop Texas A&Mâ€™s (11/9) Johnny Manziel for a nine-yard sack in the second quarter … Tallied a season-best three quarterback hurries against Alabama (11/16) … Became first SEC player with three or more quarterback hurries against Alabama since Auburnâ€™s Nick Fairley notched three on Nov. 27, 2009 … Booked six stops at Arkansas (11/23) with five in the second half and overtime … Named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Liberty Bowl after recording a game-high six tackles.
2012 SOPHOMORE SEASON:Â Played in all 13 games during sophomore season … Led team with 4.5 sacks … Also recorded 35 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and a pair of quarterback hurries … Recorded three sacks in SEC games, tallying one each in wins over Auburn, Kentucky and Arkansas … Credited with 1.5 tackles for loss for 12 yards in the victory over the Razorbacks.
- Preston Smith has excellent size and length with clubs for hands that he uses extremely well… Good power at the point and doesn’t allow linemen to push him around. Good awareness and understands his assignments… Moves extremely well laterally along the line… Uses his long arms to his advantage and gets his hands placed before the blocker… Does a nice job shedding blocks to make the tackle… Despite his size, he has good straight line speed to chase down the QB or ball carrier… Understands leverage and uses it well on run plays…Â Gets good arm extension… Has a nice club, swim and spin move… Solid wrap up form tackler… Has the athletic ability, ball skills and quickness to drop in to coverage… Takes good angles and relentless in pursuit… Has the size and power to line up inside and use his quickness to his advantage against guards and centers… Effective on stunts and blitzes… Extremely versatile… Can play inside, at 4-3 defensive end or the 5 technique…
- Preston Smith needs to improve his get off and/or burst off the snap… He flashes quick twitch ability at times… He sees what he needs to do, but doesn’t react quick enough at times… Needs to improve his foot work when edge rushing… More of a LDE or a 3 tech at the next level… Doesn’t have that explosive first step to play on the right side against the quicker more athletic left tackles… Rounds the corner rather than making a sharp move due to lack of foot quickness and/or change of direction.. Needs to improve his technique when lined up inside…
Overall Preston Smith is a solid defensive lineman with a lot of versatility… His strong active hands, large wing span, good height and power at the point will attract many scouts… There is a lot of potential there… I believe with good coaching and some work on his footwork he can improve his get-off and become an excellent pass rusher… He is very solid against the run…I gave him a late first to 2nd round grade despite projecting him in the 2nd to 3rd round because of his IQ, Character, work ethic, and intangibles… Like all of the players in this series he is a projection pick who will need a year or two to develop… I believe he can be a day one contributor in the rotation with the ability to bloom in to a solid 3 down pass rusher…
Rod Marinelli likes smart versatile players who are coachable and does an excellent job of scheming to their strengths. Preston Smith fits the bill. NFL Comparison: Cameron Jordan