Senior 6’3″ 322
- strong at the point of attack always forcing his matchup forward rarely losing balance and leverage
- great length and extension with a wide base covering a lot of space in the interior
- possesses natural strength and it shows on the field jolting defenders on first impact with plus upper body strength (30 reps at Arkansas Pro Day)
- above average awareness in pre-snap and as play continues to develop
- a grinder in the run game (most attractive attribute)
- athletic enough to reach second level to be effective
- nimble feet to get in the open field but gets caught reaching and losing balance too often losing containment
- two and a half year starter
Mitch Smothers was regarded as one of the top offensive linemen in his recruiting class and a highly coveted talent out of Arkansas with offers from multiple SEC schools. Smothers stayed near home and chose the Razorbacks putting together a fine career ending his stint in Fayetteville being the full-time starting center in his final two seasons. Playing the majority of his high school football at offensive tackle, Smothers had to learn the nuances of the head of the offensive line and he looked smooth in transition not seemingly having any noticeable hiccups on his way.
Playing on a highly regarded offensive line because of size and consistent play, Smothers got overlooked due to the likeness of Denver Kirkland, Dan Skipper and Sebastian Tretola though Smothers was equally effective. Paving the way for two future NFL running backs, Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams, Smothers should be credited for some of their success as well. Smothers is known for his constant hard nose style of play with intensity and polish as a blocker and that is the legacy he left at Arkansas.
Overall, Smothers has a fine skill set to work with having to be nit-picky to draw out some flaws in his game. After the snap, Smothers quickly shoots out of his stance initiating first contact being more of a puncher than a hugger. Showing good hand placement and body restraint, Smothers engulfs his matchup controlling him all the way to the whistle. Having to adjust to some nose tackle play, he would sometimes seem overwhelmed after not having the first impact, but quickly recovers to keep his matchup out of the backfield. Smothers is a grinder in the run game being able to maul over his opponent driving them quickly off their pursuit and sealing the running lane for the productive runners. He is an average pass protector as he lacks the quick movements to pick up rushers on the outside which is not technically a huge deal for centers.
Smothers has some underrated athleticism in his game with high school basketball experience. Continuing leg drive and displaying plus strength at the point of attack, Smothers’ game can translate to the next level at either guard or center similar to that of last year’s top rookie offensive lineman Mitch Morse. A natural product of the offensive line, Smothers has the skill set and determination to be a solid number two at the next level with some starting potential.
NFL Comparison: Tim Barnes
Quick off the snap, productive hand placement and above average reach, Barnes and Smothers draw the similarities. Barnes (6’4″ 306) was an undrafted free agent out of Missouri and turned out to be a useful NFL offensive lineman which could possibly be the same route Smothers will have to take.
Round Value/Grade: Seventh Round