With the last pick of their draft, pick 226, Kansas City made an excellent move to fortify their offensive line, choosing Trey Smith, whom many are considering the steal of the draft.
Smith started 41 games over four seasons with Tennessee football and is one of the most under-appreciated draft-eligible players this year, but his story is very intriguing.
As fans beloved Chiefs players like Jamaal Charles or Charcandrick West, who had gone through adversity to become pros, Trey Smith had to be pretty strong to make it to and be picked in the NFL 2021 draft.
At 6’6″ 330 pounds, he has been an elite offensive lineman in the SEC from the very beginning in 2017 and he quickly earned national attention. Indeed, he conceded only one sack in his last two seasons and is considered a bulldozer in the offensive line.
However, the young guard also has a very unique story and was praised by lots of NFL players while picked at the draft. Twice, Smith was named to the SEC Community Service Team, which recognized him as an outstanding member of his community.
Recently, UT awarded Smith with the highest possible honor a student can receive which is the Tennessee Torchbearer Award. He’s a role model for young fans and other students.
Besides being a brilliant and smart young man, he suddenly struggled in 2018 to complete offseason workouts, and doctors found blood clots in his lungs. He fought to keep his job and be at the top of his game.
Among Smith’s best traits are his desire to finish blocks. Here’s a portion of what PFF had to say about the latter:
“Uncoachable pop in his hands. He stops defenders in their tracks.”
And after a difficult year in 2018, he had then his best season in 2019. Indeed, he appeared in all 13 games for the Vols and started 12 games at left guard. His willpower was recognized with the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award, and his fantastic play earned him All-SEC First Team honors. Even if he could have entered the NFL draft back then, he waited an additional year to complete university and get his degree in Recreation and Sports Management.
He could have all the qualities the Kansas City Chiefs front office are looking for in a young man and he looks like he fits perfectly the Chiefs culture Andy Reid built since 2013.
Back at the university, he was the player that coaches, fans, and teammates admired and followed in big games. Smith was very constant and he is also a great leader people tend to look up to.
Sure, he’ll need to work on his technique in Kansas City as a rookie. However, he could learn a ton from veteran offensive linemen like Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Kyle Long and become one of the future faces of the franchise.
We know very well that the draft is all about value, and the Chiefs were very smart selecting Smith in the sixth round. In fact, Smith had the qualities to be drafted as a third-round selection. A success story like Trey Smith could turn this player into a real fan favorite if he plays his cards correctly.
If Trey Smith, who many think was the steal of the draft, can maintain his health, the Chiefs now have all five starters on the offensive line through 2022 and potentially beyond. That’s quite good news for the Kansas City offense.