With their third pick in the fourth round, the Cincinnati Bengals decided to go after some more offensive line help after going defense the last three picks.
Making his way to the Queen City is D’Ante Smith out of East Carolina University.
At 6-5 and 305 pounds, Smith has the height to be a solid tackle in the NFL, given that he has to add on some weight. In his career at ECU, Smith played in 33 total games but is coming off an injury that only allowed him to play one game in the 2020 season for the Pirates.
Here is what NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about the pick:
“Smith has intriguing length and good feet, but his lack of size and strength is a concern. Determining whether or not he has the frame to consistently carry over 300 pounds will be critical, as his lack of natural strength and body control is already working against him. He might need to begin his pro career as a swing tackle while he puts in the necessary work to get ready for a bigger role. His Senior Bowl practices were a strong step in the right direction, but there is still plenty of work to be done.”
As stated above, Smith did participate in the Senior Bowl practices and was seen as one of the better pass-blockers at the event. He consistently shows good mobility, as well as smooth footwork to be able to stay in front of guys with speed off the edge. He also has the speed to be effective in reaching the second level, and being able to hang with players that are quicker than himself.
Smith has the traits to be a very solid tackle at the professional level with time. There is concern for his ability to put on weight and not be overpowered when in the trenches. Give him a full year or two in a professional training program, and those thoughts will probably do a 180.
Overall, this pick is interesting. Smith carries a fourth-round grade by several draft services, so this pick wasn’t a reach by any stretch. But with a guy like Trey Smith on the board, you could see where this could be a head-scratcher.
Once again, the staff is going off of what he could become. It’s not often you come across guys who are as big as Smith, and move the way he does. If he can put on the weight, this pick could be a fun one in several years.
What do you think of the pick? Let us know in the comments below!