“With my range and my ability, I feel I can be all over the field. I can plug a gap if you need me to do that. I can cover receivers. Whatever Coach wants me to do I’m willing to do it. Wherever they see me fit to play is where I’ll be.”
— D.J. Smith
School: Appalachian State.
Height, weight: 5-10 5/8, 239 pounds.
Measureables: 4.75 second 40-yard dash; Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times. … 31-inch vertical jump. … 8-8 broad jump; 31-inch arms; 7.35 three cone.
Highlights: He was a first-team All-American selection by The Sports Network and College Sporting News. … First-team all-Southern Conference by coaches and media. … A third-team All-American selection by the Associated Press. … One of three Mountaineers on the Sport Network’s official watch list for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is presented to the nation’s top FCS defensive player. … Led the Mountaineers this season with 144 tackles (76 solo). … Smith also recorded 4˝ tackles for loss, two sacks and one interception. … He entered the season with 381 tackles, which were the second-most among NCAA Division I FCS players entering the season, behind only Scott Lewis (386).
Strengths: Has a thick trunk. Instinctive – is around the ball a lot. Highly respected by coaches and teammates – natural, vocal leader who cares for the game. Moves well laterally. Good balance and body control. Pursues hard and leaves everything on the field. Secure tackler. Aware in zone. Experienced, durable, four-year starter with outstanding production. Sterling football character. Self-starter with a winning pedigree. Has been very durable despite size and not missed any time to injury.
Weaknesses: Does not look the part – lacks ideal height, has a soft midsection and 20 percent body fat. Tight hips – struggles to break down in space. Gets caught in the wash. Limited suddenness and explosion – not a great leaper and his broad jump of 8 feet, 8 inches was the combine’s worst amongst linebackers. Poor hands. Racked up production against marginal competition.
Noteworthy: Full name is Darryl Devon Smith Jr. … He majored in accounting. … He became only the second Mountaineer to ever tally more than 500 tackles in his career (525), along with Dexter Coakley. … Smith was a three-year starter for Charlotte Independence, which went undefeated and won four-straight 4-A state championships during Smith’s prep career.
— Weston Hodkiewicz, email@example.com. Strengths and weaknesses according to Pro Football Weekly