The Seattle Seahawks might've gotten a steal on day three of the NFL Draft. Seattle drafted former Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith with the No. 158 overall pick (fifth round) after he somehow slipped. CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso made the argument Smith could have an instant impact for the Seahawks despite going later in the draft.
Smith was effective at Ohio State, but didn't put up gaudy numbers as a pass rusher. However, he was a bright spot on the Buckeyes' defense throughout his college career.
Trapasso made the argument Smith's numbers and abilities practically measured up to other prospects who went much earlier.
"If the NFL is obsessed with pass-rush ability, I have no idea whatsoever why Smith was still available in the fifth round," Trapasso wrote. "He had a pressure-creation rate of 13% in 2021. That was right around the same rate as Falcons second-round Arnold Ebiketie and Cowboys second-round Sam Williams. And not significantly lower than Kayvon Thibodeaux . If you count the last two seasons, Smith’s 16% pressure-creation rate is on par with Aidan Hutchinson’s and higher than his new teammate Boye Mafe . And those pressures weren’t of the schemed-up variety. With Smith, advanced pass-rush moves are there. There’s some bend to his game. He’s a pass-rush specialist. Seattle desperately needs that."
At Ohio State, Smith finished with 55 total tackles, 28 solo tackles, 11 tackles for loss, seven sacks, five pass deflections and one forced fumble.
As a member of the Class of 2018, Smith was a four-star prospect out of Cleveland (Ohio) Cleveland Heights, according to the 247Sports Composite. He was the No. 3 overall prospect in Ohio, the No. 4 weak-side defensive end in the class and the No. 34 overall prospect in the class.
“Well, I just feel like just what I’m bringing from O-State — just my dominance and my rushing ability, my ability to also set the edge and be a three-down player,” Smith said at his first media availability as a Seahawk . “I just feel like my motor, how dominant I am and my motor to the ball, I just feel like I just fit in great with the defense.”
Seattle runs a 3-4, though, with Smith projected to take over at one of the two outside linebacker spots. He could add weight to his 6-foot-3, 265-pound frame and slide back inside, but his athleticism is better served off the ball.
“Definitely outside linebacker, standup,” Smith said of his projected role with Seattle.
That also means he will be thrust into more coverage situations. Fortunately, Smith believes that Ohio State prepared him to add that new aspect to his game.
“We did it sometimes,” Smith said of dropping back and Seattle’s new 3-4 defense. “But not as much as other schools would — we were 4-3, but we definitely worked it in practice many times, every day almost in practice. Coach J ( Larry Johnson ) was adamant about us working all of our techniques, so yeah, I’m definitely comfortable with dropping.”
Will Backus contributed to this report.
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