Nolan Smith 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Finalist for the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year Award
- Five-star prospect, top-ranked prospect nationally by 247 Sports
- Scheme tendencies: 3-4 odd front
- 2022 projected role: Starting edge
Pros: Nolan Smith is one of the more physical defenders in the SEC. He shows up routinely against the run, using violent and powerful strikes to shock his opponents before shedding their blocks. I love his ability to anchor and set hard edges—this funnels running backs into his help. His physicality sets a tone. Smith uses his power and length to win the leverage battle at the point of attack. He punishes pulling blockers, guards, and tight ends. Smith possesses the athleticism to change direction to track the football. As a pass rusher, he applies pressure with his relentless motor and quick first step. He projects as a 3-4 OLB.
Cons: Although Nolan Smith plays with leverage and physicality, he is more of a tweener at the moment. He does not have the size nor frame to play full-time defensive end. He is a raw and unrefined pass rusher. He lacks the hand combat skills to effectively defeat OTs with technique. He relies on power, length, and slicing through gaps. Developing the technical aspect of his pass rush can help secure a spot as an early-day-two prospect at worst.
Nolan Smith NFL Draft Scouting Report by Damian Parson