Played quarterback as a Georgia prep. Converted to linebacker as a true freshman in 2010 -- saw action in nine games (one start) and recorded three tackles, one tackle for loss and zero sacks. Started at outside linebacker in the season opener against Kentucky before spending the rest of the year as a reserve/special teams player. Moved to defensive end in '11, seeing action in 10 games (five starts) and totaling 12-6.5-5.5 with one pass batted and two forced fumbles. Missed three games with an ankle injury. Took over as the starting left defensive end in '12 and posted 29-7-4 with two passes batted, one interception and two forced fumbles in 13 starts. Caught two-point conversion passes against Kentucky and Missouri State. Was the American Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Year in '13, starting 13 games and recording 42-18.5-14.5 with three passes batted, four forced fumbles and a blocked kick.
Nice bend, balance and body control. Good pass-rush ability and potential. Quick first step. Coordinated hands and feet. Athletic and agile -- can stunt and loop. Flashes a spin move. Shows burst to close and get home. Moves well laterally. Gives effort in pursuit and ranges all over the field. Operated from 2- and 3-point stance. Solid character. Is coachable and has improved steadily.
A high school quarterback turned pass rusher who broke out with 14.5 sacks as a senior (1.12 sacks-per-game average led nation), Smith projects as a pass-rushing, 3-4 right outside linebacker in the pros. Should contribute initially on passing downs and has eventual starter potential as his game becomes more well-rounded.