According to a report from Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, the Philadelphia Eagles have already met with Florida State University linebacker Telvin Smith for a pre-draft visit. Apparently, this isn't the first time the Eagles have shown interest. In an interview on Scott Wright's Draft Countdown podcast, Smith specifically noted the Eagles were one of two teams showing the most interest in him. The majority of the Eagles coaching staff, including head coach Chip Kelly, also had the chance to see Smith work out in person at Florida State's pro day.
The FSU senior finished his four-year career with 214 total tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 4 interceptions for 160 yards, 2 defensive TDs, 11 passes defensed, and 2 forced fumbles. Smith also turned in a good showing at this year's Senior Bowl.
The 23-year-old Smith measures in at 6-3, 218 lbs. As you can see from the spider graph below, 218 is light for a linebacker. Some have projected Smith as a safety in the NFL but Smith has maintained he wants to stay as a linebacker. Perhaps the Eagles envision him as a safety/linebacker hybrid. Or just a linebacker.
Scouting report via CBS Sports:
STRENGTHS: Rangy athlete with loose hips and springs in his legs. Closes quickly with a violent attitude and explosive first step. Aggressive blitzer with speed and initial pop to split gaps. Fluid in his cover drops and plays natural in space. Easy for blockers to underestimate his speed, bursting into the backfield with a fiery temperament. Excellent read/react instincts to diagnose and attack without hesitation. Light, but physical and won't shy from point of attack contact, tackling through his target and taking on blocks to find the quickest route to the ballcarrier. Motivated competitor and leader. Hard worker and pushes himself to reach his full potential. Very talkative and confident and is the tone-setter of the defense. Teammates feed off his energy on and off the field. Versatile experience playing weak-side and middle linebacker and also starring on special teams.
WEAKNESSES: Thin-muscled with very lean limbs and limited growth potential to add much more bulk. Needs to stay disciplined and improve his timing and anticipation to not over-pursue his target. Overaggressive angles and needs to stay controlled. Lacks natural power and needs to do a better job finishing once he makes contact with the ballcarrier. Struggles to shed once engaged and lacks the upper body strength to consistently fight through offensive line blocks. Needs to play smarter in coverage and has a few late hit penalties on his resume. Scheme specific and won't be an ideal fit for all 32 teams, but doesn't want to play another position. Only one year as a full-time starter at the college level.
Compares To: Wesley Woodyard, Broncos - While undersized, both Woodyard and Smith have the athletic range and natural instincts to make up for their lack of size and strength.
Spider graph below.
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