This was a much-anticipated pick. The Cowboys wisely land the draft's best all-around tackle to fill a big need.
For the first time in his 22 years running the Cowboys' draft, Jerry Jones took a lineman in the first round. Smith gives Dallas the super athletic tackle necessary to keep Tony Romo on his feet. Smith is a tremendous athlete with outstanding competitiveness and strength, despite lacking ideal bulk. The Dallas line had been terribly slow and unathletic, and this move should dramatically improve the Cowboys' passing and rushing attack.
Round 1, Pick 9
40 Time: 4.95
Biography: Two-year starter awarded all-Conference honors and named Pac-10 Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2010.
Positives: "Athletic blocker with tremendous upside and the ability to play both tackle spots. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and strong at the point. Moves well on his feet and quickly gets out to the second level. Shows ability blocking in motion and easily controls one-on-one blocking situations. Adequate footwork off the edge, displays good blocking range and has the ability to contain oncoming blitzers. Has good quickness, effectively uses his hands, and stays square to seal opponents from the action."
Negatives: Shows stiffness . Reacts late to defenders' moves off the line.
Analysis: "Since bursting on the scene as a sophomore, Smith has been one of the premier offensive tackle prospects in the nation. He has a terrific combination of size, growth potential and athleticism. Smith comes with a good degree of upside and though he needs a bit more development, he should be starting for an NFL team by the end of his rookie season."
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Tyron Smith, T
Height: 6-foot-6Weight: 285 poundsSchool: USCScouting Report
Because of his remarkable athleticism, Smith stood out as a pass protector while playing right tackle for the Trojans during his sophomore season. But at 285 pounds, he wasn't thought of as someone who would be ready for the NFL anytime soon. That changed when Smith added 22 pounds and backed up his solid 2009 campaign with an outstanding junior season. Smith has drawn comparisons to Jets tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, but while Ferguson was a no-doubt left tackle when he left Virginia, Smith hasn't played on that side except as a freshman backup. Smith also missed a chance to impress scouts at the NFL scouting combine, when he didn't participate in drills after recovering from a minor knee procedure that left some fluid. That said, the injury isn't expected to affect his draft stock, which is currently sky high. His ideal frame and quick feet have scouts convinced a move to left tackle won't be a problem, and that there's lots to back up that line of thinking. He has no trouble staying in front of speed rushers, holds his blocks and - with the added weight - isn't physically overwhelmed with bull rushers. He's also strong in the running game, gets to the second level and attacks with a noticeable mean streak. Smith's football I.Q. isn't particularly great, though, and that's led to a few flameouts at his position in the past. He also needs to work on his blitz pickups. A few minor deficiencies, however, aren't going to keep someone from grabbing Smith anywhere from the fifth to 15th pick in the first round.