KC Chiefs Senior Bowl Standouts: D’Ante Smith, OT (East Carolina)
D’Ante Smith is a name I am keeping an eye on as a potential mid-round selection for the Chiefs. Smith is a curious and somewhat difficult study, but also, as a tackle prospect, there is a ton to like about him as an offensive lineman. With really long arms (35 1/4 inches) the Pirate has played a lot of left tackle, is light on his feet, and plays with an edge about him. During limited practice work at the Senior Bowl, Smith flashed ability at both left tackle and inside at right guard.
The issues with Smith are two-fold. First, he needs weight. He weighed in at the Senior Bowl sub 300 pounds at 294. That won’t work very well. Now, perhaps with an NFL weight room and free perhaps of some COVID protocols at the smaller schools, he will be able to put a good amount of strong weight to the frame. He will never be ‘big’ but with his length and athleticism, that can be mitigated some.
The other is injuries. He only played one game this past season after playing extensively at left tackle the two seasons prior. Was he actually injured or did he decide to hold out/opt-out as other prospects had during the draft process? He injured a ligament in his hand during the week and didn’t do any more drills, while the previously mentioned Quinn Meinerz fought to get on the field despite a broken bone in his hand.