NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles: UAB EDGE Jordan Smith

From now until the 2021 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#22 Jordan Smith EDGE, UAB, 6’6”, 255 pounds

The Good

– Loose, flexible athlete that can bend the corner on pass rushes
– Explosive first step, burst in open field
– Relentless motor, always near football even if he doesn’t make play
– Uses cross chop, swim moves in pass rush and block shedding arsenal
– Long length allows him to extend, push, and pull blockers
– Uses agility to elude blockers in space

The Bad

– Not ideal playing weight for NFL edge
– Tries to beat every block with speed, needs to improve hand usage and functional strength
– Struggles in short area change of direction due to size
– Plays too tall, leads to inability to counter wash-down blocks
– Suspended indefinitely for his role in credit card scheme in 2017 at Florida, never rejoined team

Bio

– Transferred to UAB in 2019 after playing one season at Butler Community College
– Played in 23 total games, 22 starts at UAB
– Finished career 96 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three passes defended, one interception
– 2020 First Team All-Conference USA Selection
– 2019 Second Team All-Conference USA
– Four-star recruit who played high school ball at Lithonia High School in Lithonia, Georgia; chose Florida over Clemson, South Carolina, and Georgia.
– 2021 Senior Bowl selection
– Redshirted freshman season at Florida, was suspended indefinitely in 2017 for role in credit card scheme, received two years probation and left program

Tape Breakdown

There aren’t many edge rushers in this draft class that can bend the corner like UAB’s Jordan Smith can. While he will enter the league as an undersized edge player, he showed flashes of dominance and potential during his two-year stint with the Blazers. He fits the bill as another mid-round player who has traits, but needs to develop his game further.

This first play against South Alabama showcases that bend that Smith possesses. His snap get-off nearly beats the tackle from the start of the play, dipping underneath the tackle’s play side arm and closing for the sack. When Smith wins, he wins with his speed.

 

Against Rice, Smith nearly bends below the hips of the tackle and makes an incredible, nearly game-ending sack. Flexibility in his lower half allows him to run the arc to near perfection on this play.

 

The incorporation of the cross chop, dip, and rip is a big part of Smith’s pass rush plan, as well. Against Tennessee in 2019, he sets up his speed rush with the cross chop, turns the corner, and makes the sack. Impressive athleticism from the Blazers’ edge rusher.

 

Smith uses his long strides and relentless effort to close backside cut back lanes and run down the line to make plays in the backfield. In the first part of the clip against Miami, Smith reads the give on the read option and makes a tackle for loss from running flat down the line. In the second part of the clip, Smith closes the edge with his initial quickness and makes the tackle at the line of scrimmage against Florida Atlantic.

 

While the bend and play speed are attractive for his game, Smith has some work to do cleaning up the technical aspects of his game. He struggles taking blocks head on and shedding them with hand usage. Against South Alabama, Smith runs directly upfield, not maintaining his gap, leaving a huge hole for the running back to pick up a big gain. Smith has to do a better job holding gap integrity when attacking in the run game defensively.

 

Smith also needs to provide a better rush plan that either doesn’t rely on speed or has some sort of deception. Against Miami here, Smith has his speed rush and speed to power moves stymied, and he has no answer to get around the offensive lineman. While he did continue his relentless pursuit, Smith struggled stringing together counter moves.

 

This final play from Smith showed a small sample size of if he uses his length more to his advantage to convert speed to power, and displace tackles. Against Tennessee, Smith does a nice job with his initial punch and shock, leading to the extension of his arms and displacing the tackle. Impressive tape all around for the UAB standout.

 

Jordan Smith is far from a finished product on the field, but his length and ability to run the arc make him an intriguing mid-round option. While the Steelers spent a mid-round pick on Alex Highsmith last season, dipping into the edge class again may not be a bad option, especially when Smith could potentially grow as a situational pass rusher.

Smith’s past will need to be vetted by NFL teams, but all indications seem to be that Smith has learned from his mistakes and won’t be an off-the-field problem going forward. The traits are there for him to be a high-level starter if he can add weight to his frame, as well.

Projection: Late 3rd-Early 4th Round

Games Watched: at South Alabama, at Miami, at Tennessee (2019), at. Florida Atlantic (2019), at. Rice

Previous 2021 NFL Draft Player Profiles
OC Drake Jackson OC Landon Dickerson TE Pat Freiermuth RB Javonte Williams
CB Patrick Surtain II OG Deonte Brown TE Kylen Granson TE Brevin Jordan
OL Trey Smith OT Adrian Ealy CB Jaycee Horn CB Kary Vincent Jr.
RB Elijah Mitchell OT Alex Leatherwood TE Hunter Long RB Najee Harris
CB Tyson Campbell LB Zaven Collins DB Greg Newsome TE Tony Poljan
DL Christian Barmore RB Kenneth Gainwell OT Rashawn Slater WR Kadarius Toney
RB Michael Carter EDGE Joe Tryon CB Thomas Graham Jr. WR Amari Rodgers
RB Demetric Felton C Creed Humphrey C Trey Hill LB Jabril Cox
CB Asante Samuel Jr. S Joshuah Bledsoe OT Samuel Cosmi S Trevon Moehrig
RB Chuba Hubbard S James Wiggins LB Garret Wallow RB Kylin Hill
WR Dazz Newsome RB Khalil Herbert CB Shaun Wade WR Tylan Wallace
RB Rhamondre Stevenson CB Camryn Bynum WR Amon-Ra St. Brown WR Shi Smith
OT Liam Eichenberg EDGE Patrick Jones DT Alim McNeill OT Christian Darrisaw
QB Kyle Trask RB Jermar Jefferson QB Trey Lance OT Jaylen Mayfield
OT Teven Jenkins TE Kenny Yeboah LB Chazz Surratt CB Tre Brown
QB Kellen Mond LB Nick Bolton OL Brady Christensen DL Dayvion Nixon
CB Elijah Molden QB Mac Jones EDGE Rashad Weaver LB Cameron McGrone
RB Trey Sermon LB Pete Werner LB Tony Fields TE Luke Farrell
RB Jaret Patterson LB Dylan Moses TE Kyle Pitts LB Jamin Davis
TE Tommy Tremble QB Jamie Newman TE Shaun Beyer EDGE Azeez Ojulari
QB KJ Costello CB Caleb Farley DB Richie Grant OT Tommy Doyle
OG Jackson Carman WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette LB Baron Browning WR Terrace Marshall
LB/S JaCoby Stevens OC Josh Myers S Hamsah Nasirildeen OT Dillon Radunz
LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah WR Anthony Schwartz S Talanoa Hufanga WR Sage Surratt
WR Dyami Brown OT Jaylon Moore WR Elijah Moore WR Seth Williams
NT Forrest Merrill WR Cornell Powell WR Rondale Moore EDGE Jaelan Phillips
S Divine Deablo WR Rashod Bateman EDGE Elerson Smith C Jimmy Morrissey
RB Larry Rountree C/G Quinn Meinerz CB Benjamin St-Juste OT Spencer Brown
EDGE Daelin Hayes WR Tamorrion Terry DL Marvin Wilson OT Walker Little
CB Aaron Robinson WR D’Wayne Eskridge EDGE Joseph Ossai EDGE Quincy Roche
OT Alijah Vera-Tucker WR Tutu Atwell TE Pro Wells RB Pooka Williams
EDGE William Bradley-King S Ar’Darius Washington EDGE Joshua Kaindoh WR Jonathan Adams
DB Trill Williams QB Davis Mills EDGE Greg Rousseau  WR Cade Johnson
ILB K.J. Britt OG Aaron Banks DL Jay Tufele OG Wyatt Davis
CB Kelvin Joseph S Paris Ford DL Milton Williams OT James Hudson
DL Tommy Togiai EDGE Ronnie Perkins TE Tre McKitty EDGE Victor Dimukeje
CB Robert Rochell OT Stone Forsythe EDGE Janarius Robinson DL Tyler Shelvin
CB Rodarius Williams WR Jaelon Darden WR Nico Collins DL Levi Onwuzurike
EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. TE Quintin Morris LB Monty Rice LB Derrick Barnes
EDGE Raymond Johnson III CB Ifeatu Melifonwu OL Kendrick Green OT D’Ante Smith
WR Jalen Camp RB Javian Hawkins DL Jaylen Twyman TE Matt Bushman
OL David Moore WR Josh Imatorbhebe EDGE Hamilcar Rashed Jr. DB Bryce Thompson
CB Ambry Thomas EDGE Jonathon Cooper WR Marquez Stevenson LB Micah Parsons
EDGE Patrick Johnson S Damar Hamlin DL Osa Odighizuwa TE John Bates
WR Simi Fehoko EDGE Malcolm Koonce WR Trevon Grimes OT Royce Newman
RB Rakeem Boyd EDGE Shaka Toney S Shawn Davis OL Robert Hainsey
WR Dax Milne OL Cole Van Lanen DL Cameron Sample S Richard LeCounte
P Max Duffy WR Warren Jackson S Andre Cisco EDGE Payton Turner
DB Avery Williams TE Briley Moore DB Jevon Holland EDGE Tarron Jackson
CB Israel Mukuamu RB C.J. Marable WR DeVonta Smith S Jamar Johnson
DB Tariq Thompson WR Joshua Palmer WR Jaylen Waddle OC Brandon Kennedy
CB Nick McCloud QB Justin Fields P Pressley Harvin III CB Rachad Wildgoose
P Drue Chrisman QB Trevor Lawrence CB Zech McPhearson OT Alaric Jackson
P James Smith OL Dan Moore Jr. QB Zach Wilson OL Braylon Jones
S Caden Sterns OT Brenden Jaimes WR Ja’Marr Chase RB Chris Evans
RB Travis Etienne EDGE Jayson Oweh CB Eric Stokes EDGE Charles Snowden
OL Jack Anderson CB Paulson Adebo WR Austin Watkins WR Damonte Moxie
To Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!