2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: D’Ante Smith

  • D’Ante Smith, 6-5/305

  • Offensive Tackle

  • East Carolina

  • D’Ante Smith Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Long arms – 35 inches
  • Good athlete
  • Agile edge blocker
  • Quickness
  • Quick feet
  • Can kick slide to block speed rushers
  • Gets depth in his drop
  • Can bend at the knee
  • Agile in space
  • Fires out of his stance
  • Quick to the second level
  • Excellent fit in a zone-blocking scheme
  • Able to hit blocks in space
  • Dangerous as a puller
  • Smooth mover
  • Scrappy run blocker
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Needs to improve ability to sustain
  • Needs to get stronger
  • Needs add weight
  • Can reach too much
  • Struggles with power

  • Summary: Smith broke into the starting lineup for the Pirates during the 2017 season, starting a handful of games, four at left tackle and one at guard. He was then their left tackle for both 2018 and 2019. Smith suffered an injury early in the 2020 season, leading him to opt out of the rest of the year. He did return to participate in the Senior Bowl.

    For the NFL, Smith looks like he has the potential to develop into a starting tackle. Smith possesses good speed and agility for the tackle position. He has good feet and agility that give him the ability to cut off the edge from speed rushers. His light feet allow him to mirror, and his excellent length makes it tough to get around him. He is quick and agile to beat defenders to a spot. Along with his fleetness, Smith is a natural knee-bender, but he can get sloppy and reach after defenders at times. That is something that he can fix with pro coaching.

    Even though Smith is an athletic tackle, he can contribute in the ground game. He is not the strongest player, he was an effective run blocker thanks to using effective technique to move defenders at the point of attack. Smith uses his speed to beat them to a spot and gain leverage, plus brings a scrappy attitude to block through the whistle.

    The big issue for Smith is getting stronger to sustain blocks. If he can add strength to improve his ability to maintain blocks and push defenders in the ground game, Smith could become a solid left tackle in the NFL. If he adds that to his speed and athleticism, Smith could become a good starter.

    Smith could go as high as the second round in the 2021 NFL Draft and should not fall out of the fourth round if he gets there.

    Player Comparison: Cedric Ogbuehi. Smith reminds me of Ogbuehi coming out of Texas A&M. Oguebhi was a good athlete with quickness who needed to get stronger. Injuries ruined Ogbuehi’s career, and I think Smith could be a better version of Ogbuehi if he develops well.


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