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2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tanzel Smart, Tulane

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog that matters, and Tanzel Smart knows that heading into the NFL Draft.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Tanzel Smart- Defensive Tackle, Tulane Green Wave

HEIGHT: 6’1”


ARM LENGTH: 32 7/8”

HANDS: 9 5/8”


40 YD DASH (NFL Combine): 5.24 sec

BENCH PRESS (NFL Combine): 22

VERTICAL (NFL Combine): 27.0”

BROAD JUMP (NFL Combine): 105”

3 CONE DRILL (NFL Combine): 7.35 sec

20 YD SHUTTLE (NFL Combine): 4.57 sec

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports


STRENGTHS: Smart does everything he has control over well, and the one thing he can’t control doesn’t limit him. Even though he is small for his position, there are plenty of traits to like. Hanging around 300 pounds all season, he is able to get moving quickly and sometimes rushed the passer as more of a defensive end. He has plenty of finesse for a defensive tackle and can make swift moves to attack the backfield. His strength is noticeable and allows him to drive an offensive player backwards. Combining his strength with his balance makes him a nightmare to cut block and double team. Even though teams ran away from him, he constantly worked to get into the play or chase it down from behind. Teams will also like his ability to read plays and keep his eyes on the ball when engaged with a blocker as well.

WEAKNESSES: He has tremendous strength, but any offensive player with a longer reach will be able to negate that. Smart also sometimes plays too tall, which allows any lineman to move him out of his gap. While he is aggressive anticipating the snap count, there are times where he gets baited into jumping offsides. After lining up against inferior competition, Smart doesn’t have the best experience heading into the draft.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Smart’s frame will move him to the middle to later rounds, but his talent shouldn’t be overlooked. His motor is constantly running, and his athleticism will entice teams to seriously consider him on Day 3 at the latest. Regardless of size, it will be tough for teams to pass on Smart given his ability. While he may not have faced elite competition, Smart did everything he could to show that he can compete in the NFL regardless of who he faces.