2020 NFL Draft Player Preview: Trey Smith

  • Trey Smith, 6-6/320

  • Left Tackle

  • Tennessee

  • Trey Smith 2019 Preview
    By Charlie Campbell

    Career Recap: In 2017, Quenton Nelson was the top offensive lineman in college football, but the second-best guard in the nation could have been Tennessee’s Trey Smith. Considering there were other good guards like Will Hernandez and Braden Smith, who were second-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, that is really saying something for how Smith played as a freshman. Smith dominated at the point of attack and was extremely impressive when taking on Alabama. He looked like he was just scratching the surface with the upside to be even better with more experience. Smith played guard and left tackle for the Volunteers as a freshman.

    Smith had a strong sophomore season for Tennessee prior to missing the final five games of 2018 with blood clots in his lungs. The issue first impacted Smith during workouts after his freshman season. After being held out for some time, Smith returned to practice in training camp and played the first seven games of the 2018 season while showing his impressive skill set for the Volunteers.

    2019 Season Outlook: Smith’s status for 2019 is in question. Volunteers head coach Jeremy Pruitt was not ready to say if Smith will play in 2019 over the summer, but Smith wants to play and is said to be in the best shape of his life. Pruitt said Smith has been is working with his medical team in hopes of playing this fall. Smith has been taking part in some non-contact drills during training camp practices, and his availability for regular-season games seems up in the air.

    Skill-Set Summary: There is a lot to like about Smith, as he is a gritty offensive lineman who really gets after it. As a freshman, he produced some really impressive tape, including a superb performance against Alabama that saw him have his way with some of its talented defensive lineman who are good young players in the NFL. If Smith is able to put the blood clot issue behind him, he could be a talented prospect who has pro offensive line coach salivating at developing his skill set.

    In pass protection, Smith has a lot to work with. He has a big body with length to go with some quickness and athleticism. In his first full season as a left tackle, Smith did not show elite speed or agility on the edge, but there was potential for him to improve with more experience and coaching. He has enough feet and athleticism to take on speed rushers off the edge, showing an ability to cut off the corner. For the NFL, Smith could stand to work on getting more depth in his drop and be a little faster in his kick slide, but the potential is there and his size is something that can’t be coached.

    At times in pass blocking, Smith can get his hands too wide, exposing his chest and leading to him allowing some pressure from bull rushes. He has the size and strength to anchor, so once Smith improves that technique, he should be more stout to defend bull rushes and power to the inside.

    As a run blocker, Smith is strong at the point of attack and shows the ability to get a push. He has a developed upper body with strong hands that he uses to help sustain blocks. Smith is pretty quick to the second level and can pack a punch when he gets there. With his upper-body strength, he can rock defenders back, and he uses his power to manipulate them out of their gaps. He can torque and turn defenders to keep them from getting in on tackles.

    Smith shows the upside to remain at tackle, and he also could be a superb guard. In some regards, Smith reminds me of Zack Martin coming out of Notre Dame in that a team could get away with him at tackle but moving him to guard might make him a more dominant blocker. However, Smith is very young and has lot of upside. The lost developmental time to his blood-clot issue also could hide how good Smith could become at left tackle. He is a very intriguing player, and hopefully, he is able to resume his football career without interruption.

    2020 NFL Draft Expectations: Smith’s draft stock is extremely fluid entering his junior year. He has to play and remain on the field in order to be a NFL prospect, but if he does, he could be an early-rounder given his talent and upside.


    2020 NFL Mock Draft: Charlie’s | Walt’s

    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings

    2020 NFL Draft Player Previews

    2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 12

    Fantasy Football Rankings - May 9

    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

    NFL Picks - Feb. 12