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Mississippi State DE Preston Smith is Catching Fire

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Mississippi State defensive end Preston Smith is catching fire and this has nothing to do with the Hunger Games movie. Per a source, Smith has already worked out for seven NFL teams with three more visits scheduled. He emerged his junior season with the Bulldogs and continued to blossom into one of the finest SEC defensive ends in 2014.

In addition to his protypical size (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) for the defensive end position, Smith has good range and versatility which was definitely on display during the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Smith led the Bulldogs with seven sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss as a senior. The Georgia native finished his college career with 134 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 16 sacks (24 starts) in 47 games. He became the first player to be named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for three consecutive weeks.

Smith demonstrated and confirmed his athletic ability at the NFL Scouting Combine finishing in the top eight in every drill amongst the group of 27 other defensive ends. He posted a 4.74 40-yard dash which was sixth best amongst defensive linemen. Smith tied for first placed at the combine in the 3-cone drill performing an impressive 7.07 and tied for third overall in the broad jump with a leap of 121 inches. That athleticism Smith showed is one reason why some teams have inquired about him even playing outside linebacker.

FootballInsiders.com spoke with one AFC West scout who asked to remain anonymous who said Smith is a “first round” graded defensive end.  The days are beginning to trickle down to April 30th in Chicago when the first round of the NFL Draft begins, which also may coincide with the round Smith is drafted in.


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.