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2015 NFL Draft: Broncos visiting with Mississippi State defensive lineman Preston Smith

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The versatile defensive lineman is visiting with the Broncos today.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

According to Draft Insider Tony Pauline, the Denver Broncos are meeting with Mississippi State defensive lineman Preston Smith today.

Smith is considered one of the top 3-4 defensive end prospects in the 2015 draft. He is a 6'5", 271lb defensive end with 34" arms.

During his four-year career at Mississippi State, Smith totaled 134 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 defensive touchdown, seven pass deflections, and 5 forced fumbles. Smith's best season came in 2014 when he totaled 48 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, 9 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 defensive touchdown and 2 forced fumbles. Preston Smith was selected to the first-team All-SEC, and also attended the 2015 Senior Bowl where he totaled 5 tackles and 1 sack.

The Broncos seem set at defensive end currently but have plenty of questions at that position in the future. Defensive ends Malik Jackson, Derek Wolfe, and Antonio will be free agents at year's end. That's two starters and a veteran who figures to see plenty of time in sub-packages potentially leaving next season. Smith would give them competition early on, and a potential replacement for the soon to be free agents next season.

I think Smith would fit well into Denver. He tested well at the NFL Combine, but his athleticism doesn't really show up on tape. I think his skill set fits into Phillip's one-gap scheme up front very well.

Smith is expected to go somewhere in the late first to early to mid second round.

Scouting Report:

Strengths:

  • Had a great combine. Tested very well. Showed strength, athleticism and explosiveness.
  • Has very long arms(34") and huge hands(10 5/8").
  • Uses his long arms and big hands to his advantage.
  • Technically sound with his hand placement.
  • Uses a variety of moves to get to the passer.
  • Holds up well in the run game.
  • Anchors well against double teams holding his own.
  • Does well at setting the edge.
  • Versatile player. Can play DE in a 3-4 and can shift inside on passing downs.
  • Has a good motor.
  • Is a sound wrap-up tackler.
  • Active hands as a pass rusher.
  • Can be a disruptive player if asked to be a gap player.

Weaknesses:

  • His athleticism doesn't always translate on film.
  • He is stiff and does not have the pass-rushing skill/moves/explosiveness to be a defensive end in a 4-3 defense.
  • Doesn't have the power to bull rush offensive lineman.
  • Takes a little while to get up to full speed.
To see my full scouting report on Mississippi State defensive end Preston Smith click here