Chicago Bears: Round 4, Pick No. 97 via LAC
The Bears double up on offensive tackle here selecting D’Ante Smith out of East Carolina. The small school prospect balled out at the Senior Bowl showing his worth and playing nearly everywhere across the entire offensive line.
D’Ante Smith offers something very valuable that I hinted at above: versatility. While at the Senior Bowl, most prospects stick to their position to prove their worth at their best position. Smith lined up at both tackle spots and guard spots while in Mobile. He has the ideal size and length to be a great tackle at the next level.
My personal favorite aspect of an offensive lineman is a wrestling background. Wrestling teaches an offensive lineman strong hand use and great balance when blocking. In recent years, Tristin Wirfs is a prime example of this. Smith having a wrestling background improves not only those attributes but also gives him an edge in terms of being a nasty offensive lineman. He credits wrestling to that as well.
Smith would be a prime player to wait and see how he looks at camp. If he looks rough around the edges, let him sit behind Leno for a season and learn the ropes from a veteran who has done it for years. If he looks ready, cut Leno loose and save the money moving Radunz to left tackle and Smith to right tackle. Smith can be a star at the next level though given his background and physical attributes.