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Possible Pick: Smith Would Fill LB Need, But Likely An Early 1st-Rounder

(Editor's Note: For the last several weeks, the staff of has previewed the landscape of the NFL Draft's top prospects, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today, we complete the series with Georgia's Roquan Smith.)

  • Name: Roquan Smith
  • Position: Linebacker
  • College:Georgia
  • Height/Weight:6-1 / 236
  • Honors:2017 Butkus Award winner, given to the nation's top linebacker; first-team All-SEC.
  • Key Stat:A two-year starter for the Bulldogs, Smith's tackle totals jumped from 95 in 2016 to 137 last year, along with 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 15 games.

Where He's Projected:

Most draft observers believe Smith is a potential top-10 pick who shouldn't last beyond the middle of the first round. Pre-draft workouts are fine, but Smith really helped his draft position with two dominant performances in the College Football Playoff, where he tallied 24 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and a sack.

How He Helps The Cowboys:

Smith's instinctive ability to diagnose plays, run and make tackles might draw Sean Lee comparisons. Lee is an All-Pro player when healthy, and Smith might have that type of future in the league as a weak-side or middle linebacker. It's no secret the Cowboys need linebacker depth after losing Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber in free agency. But Smith seems unlikely to be around for the Cowboys to consider at No. 19 overall.

  • Smith reminds me of Derrick Brooks, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Highly competitive player. Has a real passion for the game. Can tell by the way he plays that he loves the game. Shows mental and physical toughness.
  • Outstanding football intelligence. Hard guy to fool. Plays with a closing burst and range.
  • Lateral player. Delivers a blow. Outstanding flow. Reactionary athlete. Will fight to stand ground.
  • Turns well in coverage. Can cover some ground. Can redirect. Can make coverage plays down the field.
  • Can bend to rush the passer. Finds the ball.
  • Finisher. Wrap up tackler. Will fill at the point. Sees the ball well.
  • Doesn't make many mistakes on the defense. One of those rare players who doesn't come off the field.
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