Trey Smith vows he is 'completely healthy' to play in NFL. Kansas City Chiefs agreed.
Trey Smith felt confident in his health and medical standing after going through the NFL draft process.
The former Tennessee offensive lineman still was confident Saturday after he dropped to the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
“I have been in absolutely perfect health,” Smith said. “I have had no issues recently at all. Obviously, things are uncontrollable. …
“I am completely healthy and ready to roll.”
Smith was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 226 overall pick.
The two-time All-SEC selection was projected as a third-round pick by Pro Football Focus entering the draft. Instead, Smith waited until the third day to hear his name called.
“Certain things happen for a reason,” Smith said. “God always has a plan for my life. In terms of motivation, I am definitely going to be motivated. I am forever thankful.”
The Jackson, Tennessee, native battled blood clots in his lungs in early in 2018, and a subsequent medical concern tied to that initial diagnosis caused him to miss the final five games of the 2018 season. He didn't miss a game in his final two seasons at Tennessee.
Smith followed a specialized medical and practice plan for the 2019 season, during which he participated in just two full-contact practices. His medical team adjusted the plan in 2020, allowing him to be a full-contact practice participant.
“He was one of the top guards in the country here for the last couple years,” said Mike Borgonzi, Kansas City’s director of football operations. “Our medical staff with (vice president of sports medicine and performance) Rick Burkholder and our doctors fully vetted the situation.
“We feel completely comfortable where he is at medically to play for us. We are just really excited to add him to the roster here.”
Smith said he was evaluated by NFL doctors during the combine process. He did not know of any issues stemming from those evaluations.
“We did our due diligence in the process,” Smith said.
Smith vowed on Twitter that he “will never forget” going undrafted through the first three rounds. He called the waiting process a “rollercoaster.”
He filled the time with video games, while watching the draft and having family over.
“Ultimately, being selected (Saturday), it is such a great feeling and feeling of relief,” Smith said. “It is what you work for your entire life. It was overwhelming at points, but at the end of the day, God has a plan.”
Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.