With the first round of the NFL Draft slated to begin Thursday night, we’ll look this week at the prospects the Redskins could be targeting with the 10th overall pick and gauge the likelihood of each landing in Washington. Check back for updates.
Player: Right tackle Tyron Smith, USC
Basics: At 6-foot-5, 307 pounds, Smith boasts tremendous talent and potential, but remains a work in progress. At the start of USC’s 2010 season, the junior tipped the scales at 285 pounds, but he changed his diet and concentrated on bulking up the right way, and by the time the combine rolled around, Smith had squeaked over the 300-pound mark. He played right tackle his two full seasons at USC, but is expected to eventually make the move to left tackle in the NFL, where teams will take advantage of his impressive athleticism.
Why he might fit: The Redskins have an apparent hole at right tackle, where both Jammal Brown and Stephon Heyer are due to become free agents. In addition to the uncertainty of whether they will re-sign either player, Brown spent last year working his way back from hip surgery, and Heyer has struggled with consistency. Left tackle was taken care of with the drafting of Trent Williams last year, and Washington could look to further solidify its line by adding Smith.
Why he might not: Smith might not be available when the Redskins pick at No. 10. Dallas reportedly has interest in Smith and could snatch him up with the ninth overall pick. Or Washington could decide that its defensive front is a more pressing need.
Likelihood Redskins draft him (scale of 1 to 10): 7. Smith certainly would fill a need, and if players such as Robert Quinn and Julio Jones already are gone, the pick would make sense. Besides a quarterback, a linebacker or end likely will be the team’s top choice.