Dallas Cowboys: Honing in on draft targets (Nolan Smith, EDGE)

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Some prospects never become options because they get selected before the Dallas Cowboys even go on the clock. Nolan Smith could very well be that kind of prospect but that’s never stopped the Cowboys from putting players on their short list so it won’t stop us today.

Based on current draft boards Smith has a viable chance of being available and based on the Cowboys proclivities for players like him, he’s a player they could certainly be honing in on in case he falls into their laps.

TDN gave Smith a second round value while Dane Brugler rated him 19th on his big board. Generally, he’s been falling between 15-30 on draft boards so he could be a possibility for Dallas at 26.

Nolan Smith is a 6-foot-2, 238 pound edge prospect from Georgia. He blew the doors off the NFL combine running the 40 in 4.39 seconds with a 10-yard split of 1.47. His vertical and broad jump dropped jaws and placed him on an elite tier of athletes entering draft portal.

Nolan Smith is an elite pass rushing prospect who could slip to the Dallas Cowboys in the first round.

Smith is a naturally gifted pass rusher who possess a relentless motor and extraordinary toughness. He was tasked to take on many responsibilities on Georgia’s star-studded defense and has shown a proclivity to be a complete player at the NFL.

Holding him back is his underwhelming sack totals and his size. With just 12.5 sacks in four seasons, Smith isn’t lighting up the stat sheet. But as mentioned earlier, Smith was used a variety of ways and wasn’t allowed to just hunt passers every down.

Not a prototypical size for a 4-3 DE, Smith fits best as a 3-4 OLB. Some teams will shy away from him based on his size and their scheme.

The Dallas Cowboys who run variations of both odd and even man fronts are well versed in deploying an undersized pass rusher on the EDGE and should have no issues with Smith if they decide to make him their first round selection.

Smith is undoubtedly going to be a better pro (like a couple players in this draft) because an NFL team will hone his skills and focus him on high impact plays rather than ask him to it all.

Nolan Smith is a high character player with a special set of skills. He should make a immediate impact in the pros as a pass-rusher and Dan Quinn and the Dallas Cowboys would likely be thrilled if he fell.