Will Dallas ignore their past trends and consider Tulsa OL Tyler Smith?


There’s been a lot of buzz about the Cowboys liking offensive tackle Tyler Smith of Tulsa. Smith went to Tulsa in 2019 and was red-shirted. In 2020 he got his first real at playing time (only playing four in 2019). in 2020 he played in and started in all nine games. He earned his way onto the Freshman All-America by the FWAA and The Athletic. He also earned first-team all-AAC honors.

Smith is a better run blocker than he is a pass blocker at the moment. He plays with power but he has some things to clean up. So does he fit with the Cowboys? His selection would betray a lot of what we know about how they like to do business. His tape would have to be super impressive to buck tradition. Is it?

Measurables and Stats

Listed Height: 6-foot-4

Listed Weight: 324 pounds

Jersey Number: 56

Film Study Information:

Games Watched: Cincinnati (2020), UCF (2020), Cincinnati (2021)

Best Game: UCF (2020)

Worst Game: Cincinnati (2021)

Physical Skills Evaluation:

Balance: Stays square with the defender and upright when run blocking, can become off balance when his hands are wide with his initial hand punch, but has the ability to re-anchor. Can get off balance against explosive edge rushers and struggles to recover.

Hand Placement: Appears to be a catcher rather than an attacker. Can be wide on his hand placement. Has 65th percentile for arm length, so this may kick him inside to guard for some teams. If het gets hand placement on the inside of the shoulder pads, on the breast plates he very well might be taking you to the ground.

Power: Has a nasty demeanor about him, not uncommon to see him finish someone in the dirt.

Movement Skills: Able to reach the second level effectively.

Footwork/Foot Speed: Doesn’t generate enough torque with his kick slide and fails to get proper depth from time to time. Can really hurt him against explosive edge rushers.

Performance Evaluation:

Pass Protection: Doesn’t consistently mirror edge rushers the best, let’s them work and gain the edge. Able to gain leverage effectively.

Football IQ: Keeps his head on a swivel, looks for clean up work if he is left uncovered.

Anchor: Doesn’t drop his hips the best, and can get walked back some; but has displayed the ability to re-anchor if presented with the opportunity.

Flexibility: Has functional hip flexibility, able to reach three techs, flip his hips, seel them off and create a running lane. Has the ability to open his hips in a hurry and pick up a delayed blitzer off the edge.

Run Blocking: Engages his legs well and drives his feet. Able to reach the second level and wash linebackers out of the play or to the ground.

Strengths:

Plays with power in the run game, not uncommon to see him finish his block in the dirt. Displays functional football IQ. Has the required hip flexibility to seal off blocks on the first or second level. Does a good job of staying square with his opponent and driving his feet when run blocking. Effective mover in space.

Weaknesses:

Doesn’t generate enough torque with his kick slide and it leads to explosive edge rushers beating him up the pass protection arch. Has erratic initial hand placement, striking wide on a number of occasions. Doesn’t have the best initial anchor ability, he is able to re-anchor himself adequately, but will need time to adjust to NFL power so he can develop a true anchor. His pass sets as a whole need refinement.

Fit with the Cowboys:

Smith could very well be a candidate to move inside to guard. His arm length at the NFL combine came in at 34 inches, which is the average for NFL tackles, but would put him in a higher tier if moved inside to guard. He displays the power and nastiness that would suit a guard, but lacks the necessary anchor for either.

His kick slide needs refinement, which is another reason he could be a candidate to move inside. Terrance Steele played at a surprising level for the Cowboys this season, and he may have instilled enough confidence in the team going forward to give him a shot at starting tackle. The Cowboys are quite possibly in the market for a starting guard, but Smith needs time to develop his skills. He would greatly benefit being behind two greats in Tyron Smith and Zack Martin.

Prospect Grade:

Pass Protection (15)

11

Anchor (10)

7

Balance (10)

7.8

Flexibility (10)

8.25

Hand Placement (10)

7.5

Run Blocking (10)

8.1

Power (10)

8.25

Movement Skills (10)

8

Football IQ (5)

4.2

Footwork/Foot Speed ​​(10)

6.8

Final Grade:

76.9, 3rd round player

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