NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dawuane Smoot

Illinois
Defensive End #91
Senior 6’4” 265

Dawuane Smoot is one of the best defensive ends in college football. He has the ability to be an every down defensive end with his run stopping ability and his pass rushing talent. Smoot is more disruptive than he is productive and will record many more pressures than sacks. Here are some scouting notes based on Smoot’s game film.

  • Consistent effort on every play
  • Many quick and powerful pass rushing moves
  • Ability to get skinny and get by blockers
  • Consistently sheds blockers to make the tackle
  • Gets too far up field at times
  • Strong at the point of attack
  • Always in the backfield
  • Great instincts
  • Athletic bend

Smoot has been a staple for the Illinois defense over the last few years. Over his career for the Fighting Illini he as compiled 136 totals tackles with 38.5 for a loss and 15.5 sacks. This season Smoot was able to rack up 56 total tackles as well as 15 for a loss and five sacks along with 10 hurries. After his strong senior season he was named to the third team All-Big Ten. His best pass rushing year was the 2015 season when he tallied up seven sacks en route to a Big Ten Honorable Mention. Smoot made a big effort for his senior year to increase his run support ability, and he sure did. He increased his tackle total from 39 to 56 and his tackles for loss from 14.5 to 15.

Smoot has the size and strength that scouts look for in a defensive end. He is also fast enough and athletic enough to bend and run outside on offensive tackle and go untouched to the quarterback. Against Nebraska this season Smoot put on a show with eight tackles and numerous quarterback hurries displaying his bending ability.

Smoot has significantly improved his run support ability and it shows in his play. He is strong at the point of attack and extends his arms to read where the play is going and then sheds the blocker to make the tackle. Smoot has great instincts when it comes to his reads. He is quick to react and is an explosive hitter. Smoot has the ability to be an every down defensive end at the next level.

Round Value: Early 2nd Round

Smoot has the size, strength and speed necessary to be an effective pass rusher but needs to learn how to set up his pass rushing moves better. He tends to use the same move again and again. It may work the first few times but the offensive lineman catches on quickly and he becomes ineffective until he tries a new move.

NFL Comparison: Tamba Hali

Smoot and Hali both are very disruptive off the edge but not as productive. The one small difference between the two is in scheme. Hali plays in a 3-4 as an outside linebacker but Smoot plays in a 4-3 as a defensive end.

About Riley Rogers 21 Articles
Writer for The Draftster. Chemical Engineering Student at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

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