Don’t Sleep On Donovan Smith

April 24th, 2015
The Bucs have spoken with Penn State OT Donovan Smith "many times."

The Bucs have spoken with Penn State OT Donovan Smith “many times.”

Back at the NFL Scouting Combine, Joe talked to Penn State left tackle Donovan Smith and shared that Tampa Bay already talked to Smith several times.

Since then, Smith, a true manbeast at 6-6, 338 pounds, climbed draft boards and is looking like a second-round pick.

Scouting godfather and former Cowboys architect Gil Brandt, writing now for, pegs Smith as the No. 34 overall prospect in the draft and a guy with great discipline.

34. Donovan Smith, OL, Penn State
Smith (6-5 5/8, 338 pounds, 5.18 40) has big upside. He allowed 3.5 sacks last season, including one vs. an offensive lineman ranked in the top 25 at his position, and had no holding penalties called on him.

No holding penalties for a left tackle? That’s damn impressive.

Smith often is considered a guard at the NFL level, but Joe likes all that experience at left tackle. Even if he is a guard, the versatility is there.

Cranky ex-Bears and Lovie Smith personnel man Greg Gabriel, now of, is high on Smith. That site pegs Smith as the No. 67 overall player in the draft.

He has more of a guard’s frame. While he is very tall with very long arms (6’6 – 338, 34 3/8”), he has a thick build with a huge butt.

For a man his size, he moves around very well. At Indy, he timed 5.28 in the 40 with a 1.84 10-yard split. For a man his size, those are very good times. He also had a 32” vertical jump and a 9’1” long jump. Again, very good results for a big man. He proved to be light on his feet with bend, change of direction, balance and body control.

In the run game, he gets off the ball quickly, stays low, and is explosive on contact. He has good natural hip roll. With his lower body power, he is able to generate movement and also does a good job getting to the second level.

In pass protection, he shows a strong punch to control his opponent and shows natural bend. He doesn’t get bull rushed. He has the foot quickness to mirror opponents, showing he can slide and recover. He consistently keeps good position in pass protection.

I feel Smith will start off as a guard once he gets to the NFL. While he played left tackle in college, I don’t ever see him playing there in the NFL. As he gains experience and confidence, he may move over to right tackle, but if kept at guard, he can be a very good NFL player. His best football is still in front of him.

During Joe’s Combine chat with Smith, the intelligent prospect revealed he got his degree in 3 1/2 years and got a first-class education under three Penn State head coaches, Joe Paterno, Bill O’Brien, and James Franklin.

“It helps a lot,” Smith said. “Each coaching staff had their own differences, but majority pro style. Transitioning from college to NFL, it will be a big help. I’ve seen different things all over. It just helps me adjust quicker.

“Having three different head coaches, three different offensive coordinators. You see a little bit of everything. It won’t be the first time I see a play of that nature.”

As Day 2 of the draft begins, Smith could be a guy on the board the Bucs believe they can grab after trading down in the second round, or trading back into the late second round.

How great would it be to upgrade the O-line with a physical monster like Smith, who is known for his power? You can’t teach mass.

13 Responses to “Don’t Sleep On Donovan Smith”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So many good prospects….so few picks!!!

  2. BuccaneEric Says:

    Maybe we can call NE and get some of our picks back out of pity!!

  3. BuccaneEric Says:

    I don’t know about this guy. In the scouting report in the article it says he gave up a sack to an offensive lineman! At least he’ll fit in with the guys we have now!! Lol

  4. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Don’t Sleep On Donovan Smith

    Top of 3rd Round

  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Kick him inside to Left guard-while your cross training him for tackle


    Don’t Sleep in Jamon Brown either

  6. WS99 Says:

    There you go joe. I’ve had my eye on this beast-child for weeks. He looks like a house and as won like every award a lineman can get. I likey, I likey a lot.

  7. DallasBuc Says:

    That guy looks like Carl Nicks in pads!

  8. WS99 Says:

    He is only 1 of 2 LTs coming out early as a junior. Plus penn state develops great lbs and lineman. I’m sold go ahead a gift wrap him, Ty.

  9. BuccaneEric Says:

    I say go get him!!!

  10. port richey george Says:

    getting o-linemen makes perfect sense to everybody. that is why Lovie & Licht will draft another running back with their 2nd round pick or maybe a kicker….after all lovie has praised his current 0-linmen as being fantastic….

  11. Yungry Says:

    Looks waYYYY better than Humphries

  12. Mumbles Says:

    Go get’m!

  13. Germanbuccaneer Says:

    Good call, Joe