By: Steve Johnson
Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford
*combine measurements and drills added in Feb.
2016: Did not see action
2017: 14 games. 23 rec, 414 yards, 5 TDs
2018: 11 games. 47 rec, 635 yards, 2 TDs
Accolades: 2016 Under Armour All-America Game, 2018 All-Pac 12 Second-Team
History: Four-star prospect out of Flower Mound, TX. First-team all state as a senior at Marcus High School, where he also played basketball. Will forego his Senior season, has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Strengths: Great size, excellent length. Has great ball skills. Provides a big target for his quarterback, and has great body control to make adjustments in the air. Understands how to box out defenders and make it so only he has a play on the ball. Has mostly reliable hands. Does a good job finding space and sitting in zones.
Weaknesses: Does not use his hands to separate from defenders. Can get driven off his route way too easily. Has very limited wiggle to him as both a ball carrier and route runner, his separation skills are limited due to this. Struggles as a run blocker due to below average power. Lunges at defenders too often, rather than getting low and moving his feet. Balance is below average, indicative of a weak lower body.
Overview: Smith is an intriguing prospect because he has the size/ball skills you covet, but he’s still very raw. Play strength is an obvious concern, both separating from defenders in his routes and in the run game. Adding bulk and working on hand usage are musts in order to become a starting Tight End in the NFL. Right now, he’s a guy that teams can mixing in on 12 personnel, with upside to become a starting TE.
Draft Projection: 3rd Round
Phanaddict Draft Grade: TBD
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