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2022 NFL Draft Profile: Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith, ILB, Penn State Nittany Lions, 2022 NFL Draft

Talented and willing, Smith is an appealing linebacker prospect that's still rough around the edges

There may not be a faster linebacker in the 2022 NFL Draft than Brandon Smith. Smith's speed and physical nature will appeal to many teams but he's far from a finished product, which could impact just where he's taken in the draft. Still, there are more than enough positives that should ensure he hears his name called at some point during Day 2.

(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Purchase a copy online today, the digital edition for instant access, or look for it on newsstands everywhere.)

Brandon Smith Draft Profile

College: Penn State
Class: Jr.
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 240

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Strong Points

Smith might be the fastest linebacker in this class despite his size. He’s a fluid mover who can cover a lot of ground, going sideline to sideline as a run defender. He’ll be able to match up with tight ends in man coverage, and his size and length make him appealing as a zone defender. He’s a twitched-up and violent tackler whose long arms give him a large playmaking radius, and he attacks downhill with physicality when asked to blitz.

Weak Points

He needs some work when it comes to take-on skills. His long arms and physicality should translate well in that area, but he often seems underpowered if he doesn’t have a running start, and he’s unable to work through traffic as well as he should. He needs to become more instinctive in zone coverage.

Summary

A coaching staff would love to work with Smith, who’s talented and willing but whose game needs refinement, against the run and in coverage.

Final Grade: 2nd/3rd Round

YearGTTFL-YDSSCKS-YDSQBHFF-FRPBU

2019

13

14

2.0-3

0.0-0

1

0-0

0

2020

9

31

8.0-27

2.0-13

1

0-0

1

2021

12

81

9.0-28

2.0-15

3

1-0

5

Career

34

126

19.0-58

4.0-28

5

1-0

6

Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide

The most complete guide to the 2022 NFL Draft is now available at newsstands everywhere or for purchase online!