Unpacking Future Packers: No. 12 Tyler Smith
The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 NFL draft.
The Green Bay Packers haven’t selected an offensive lineman in the first round since selecting Derek Sherrod with the 32nd overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft.
“On the edges, we need a guy or two, just to really shore up the tackle position,” Green Bay’s offensive coordinator Adam Stenavich said while speaking to the media.
With the Packers looking to bolster the depth at the tackle position, that streak of not selecting an offensive lineman in the first round could come to an end in 10 days.
A player Brian Gutekunst could target with the 28th overall pick is Tyler Smith. The Tulsa offensive lineman checks in at No. 12 in the Unpacking Future Packers countdown.
Smith finished his career at Tulsa with 23 career starts at left tackle. The Tulsa offensive lineman plays with a mean streak. From an interview with Pro Football Focus:
“Anybody who steps across from me is kind of like an enemy, and I gotta make sure when I put them down, they’re gonna think twice about getting back up.”
Smith is the Roy Kent of American football. He plays angry. Smith plays like the man across from him came to his house and drank all his beer. The young man plays with an edge and wants to bury the man across from him. He’s an absolute mauler.
“He has phenomenal power and moves very fluidly,” Zach Patraw, the President of NFL Draft Bible, said. “He has solid leg drive that allows him to move effortlessly through contact with his great lower-body strength. Smith controls defenders when he lands his hands on their frame with an outstanding amount of grip strength.”
Smith is a violent run blocker. The Tulsa offensive lineman plays with a lot of power and explodes into the man across from him with a lot of force. He opens up running lanes by putting people on the ground. He has a strong upper body with good leg drive to move people. He has the short area quickness to easily climb to the second level and hit his landmarks.
“Whether it’s pulling, climbing to the second level, reach-blocking, or down blocking, his athleticism and movement skills allow him to be a very effective run blocker in many facets of the running game,” Patraw said.
Pro Football Focus described Smith as the best gap scheme blocker in the 2022 NFL draft. From PFF:
“Smith only just turned 21 this month and still managed to lead all of college football with 21 big-time blocks in 2021. His ability to move people against their will is rare for a player his age.”
Smith has a strong core and is able to anchor down against bull rushers. He has an athletic frame with good length. He has quick feet and the lateral quickness to beat edge rushers to the spot and shut down the corner. According to PFF, Smith allowed just two sacks during his career at Tulsa.
“He mirrors well before contact is initiated and throws a well-timed punch,” Patraw said. “Even after contact is initiated, he’s hardly phased and will stay mirrored, moving his lower body fluidly and precisely timing his feet and hands.”
Fit with the Packers
The Tulsa offensive lineman is one of the youngest players in the 2022 draft. Smith just turned 21 years old. With his athletic profile, age, tackle-guard versatility and the fact that he plays a premium position, Smith could be the player Gutekunst selects with the 28th overall pick.
“I’m drafting him because he’s still raw and someone I can mold,” Patraw said. “We’re looking at a franchise tackle with all-pro upside if all comes to fruition. I wouldn’t hesitate taking him at the backend of the first round.”
Smith is an athletic, mold of clay that every NFL team would love to get their hands on. He’s pro-ready as a blocker, and teams will have to live with his lumps in pass protection early in his career.
At only 21 years old, he has all the tools to develop into a starting tackle for the next decade-plus. The Packers already have their franchise left tackle in place with David Bakhtiari. By selecting Smith with the 28th overall pick, they could have their starting right tackle of the future.
Complete list of Packers Wire's 'Unpacking Future Packers' draft preview series