|Tyron Smith OT USC|
|An impressive athlete with quick feet. Definitely has the athleticism to play left tackle. Excels in pass protection. Impressive mobility for a lineman.|
|Limited experience at left tackle – a two-year starter on the right side. Suspended for one game in 2009 for academic reasons. Suffered a sprained knee in 2010. Slightly undersized, most teams prefer all of their lineman to over 300 pounds these days.|
|Smith may not be ready for the pros right now, and probably should have stayed in school for another year, however he has rare athleticism for a lineman and teams are always looking for someone capable of playing left tackle. Given time to develop he could prove to be a special player. The only reason I would hesitate to take him in the 1st round would be due to his inability to play right away, however, I’m confident he can develop into a quality starter one or two years down the road.|
USC is losing two juniors to the NFL – offensive tackle Tyron Smith and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey.
I’m not at all surprised by Smith’s early entrance. He would have benefited from another year at USC, but this is an incredibly weak class for offensive lineman – the worst since at least 2005 – and his draft stock will be elevated as a result.
Smith is an impressive athlete, and definitely has the raw ability necessary to play left tackle at the next level. He could come off the board as high as the top-20, but more realistically will fall in the 25-40 range.
Considering all the turmoil at USC over the past year, Casey’s decision to leave doesn’t come as much of a surprise either. But his decision certainly wasn’t impacted by a chance to boost his stock. This is a very deep class for defensive linemen, and Casey stands little chance of coming off the board within the top 50 picks.
Casey lacks the size and strength to play nose tackle, and lacks the athleticism to shift to end in a 3-4 scheme. This will limit the number of teams interested in his services, and could cause for him to plummet down draft boards.