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A lot to like about Baylor's Smith

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Recent posts by Matt Feminis

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Posted April 23, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Matt Feminis

Baylor OLT Jason Smith is one of the few players whose draft stock hasn't fluctuated all that much. Once evaluators got a sense of his rare athletic ability and movement skills, he ascended to the top of the tackle rankings and hasn't slid. Aside from his consistent play (and nasty playing temperament, which scouts love to see), Smith, nicknamed "Smooth," is a likable guy who says all the right things and comes off mature and level-headed.

Orakpo all about pressure
Texas DE Brian Orakpo is a simple man. He justs wants to get after the quarterback. Whether he'll do that as a 4-3 end or 3-4 rush linebacker remains to be seen, but his combination of speed and power is in demand.

Clemons' speed does talking
After blazing a 4.33 at the Combine, Clemson FS Chris Clemons can keep his nickname: "deer." It actually works in a couple of ways, considering he was quiet as a deer throughout his Tigers career. In retrospect, it's hard to imagine how a three-year starter in the ACC with sub-4.4 speed and an NFL future could maintain a low profile, but Clemons was overshadowed by Michael Hamlin in the defensive backfield and reserved off the field. Despite his outstanding straight-line speed, he does not play that fast and lacks ideal instincts on the back end. Clemons will require patience, but his measurables give him a chance and he is the type of player you root for.

Little interest in Hill
If Wisconsin junior RB P.J. truly is "confident" regarding his draft prospects, more power to him, but after a questionable decision to come out early and a mid-March DUI arrest, he has worked out for just two teams and likely won't be considered until the fifth round at best.

Lions will be in agreement
New Lions general manager Martin Mayhew says there will be no strong-arming when it comes to settling on the team's draft picks. "We will be in agreement, as far as our coaches and our scouts, on every player selected," Mayhew told the Detroit News.

Ruskell can't whiff on wheelhouse pick
The pressure is on Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell, who must find an impact player with the fourth-overall selection. Ruskell, whose background is in scouting, has not delivered with top picks since taking over in 2005. Center Chris Spencer was the first-round choice that year, followed by CB Kelly Jennings in '06, CB Josh Wilson (second round) in '07 and DE Lawrence Jackson last year. Not an embarassing group of players, but one that inspires a collective "eh" from Seahawks faithful. In fairness, those picks were nowhere near the top of the first round, but Ruskell has to get value out of No. 4 in order to right the ship in Seattle before the dreaded whispers of "rebuilding" surface. 


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