With the 9th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select… Tyron Smith, offensive tackle, USC.
This was a pick that seemed like a forgone conclusion leading up to the draft. Dallas needed help along the offensive line and Tyron Smith was the top-rated player at his position with incredible upside. Since Smith will now be offering his services to the Cowboys and their fans, it is only right to take the time to get to know our newest first round pick.
STRENGTHS: Smith is very athletic and is a guy who is not afraid to play through the whistle. He has excellent movement for a man with his size and he is able to get to the next level and help spring the running back for big plays. Smith has some of the longest arms and biggest hands among the offensive lineman in the 2011 draft class. In the offseason.
NEGATIVES: Smith needs to continue to get stronger. He has showed significant improvement throughout the draft season and was putting on weight. His lack of elite strength effects his ability to drive defenders out of the running lanes on a consistent basis. Smith has sloppy technique when it comes to his run blocking, but he is still a very raw and young prospect with a lot of room to grow.
DRAFT GRADE: B-. While Smith was the best at his position, Dallas passed over a top flight defensive back in Prince Amukamara and failed to complete the ideal trade down.
OVERALL: If Smith can fully develop and live up to his potential, he will be the long term answer for the team at right tackle. His athleticism for the position is very rare and could allow him to become a special player. Being the first offensive lineman drafted by the Cowboys in 30 years is going to put some added pressure on Smith, so from day one he will be looking to prove he belongs.