While waiting for the post-season draft sheets, the editorial staff of TDActu offers you, every Tuesday, a spotlight on the future nuggets who will join the NFL in 2023.
Born January 18, 2001 in Savannah, Georgia
1m92 for 107 kilos
Linebacker, Georgia, senior
In 2019, he was the number one high school student recruit in the country! In front of all Kayvon Thibodeaux (2), Derek Stingley (3), Evan Neal (7) or Garrett Wilson (20). Double university champion with Georgia, Nolan Smith showed many qualities but as much as those of a Man of Steel ?
If I were a quality: polite
Combining game intelligence and athletic qualities, Nolan Smith knows how to explode as soon as the ball is engaged. Liveliness of support and good angles allow him to be a player “in the right place at the right time”. His tackling technique then allows him to achieve it as it should.
If many players arrive in the NFL being more or less “raw”, Nolan Smith is a player with an already well polished game: enough to manipulate the dreams of managers as in Inception.
If I were a fault: what position?
Defense organized in 43, 34, 42, 50 etc. In the field, the coordinators go beyond the “paper diagram” and fortunately. But if his talent is indisputable, his best use still raises questions. Outside player, yes. But rather on which curtain? The first or the second?
On almost all US sites, Nolan Smith is listed as an Edge. Certainly, he can play this position but his lack of size for this position will make him ignored by some NFL staff: if he looks more like a Robin only to one Dark KnightNolan Smith can, however, become a main character in the NFL.
If I was an NFL player: Haason Reddick (Eagles)
After an exceptional 2022 NFL season, no doubt other franchises will take inspiration from Reddick’s success with Philadelphia. Same size, same type of vivacity and technique, the comparison between the two makes sense.
But if Haason Reddick is a pass rush specialist, Nolan Smith was especially noticed for his ability to pursue runners.
If I were a date: private training
Due to a pectoral injury, Nolan Smith saw his season end in week 8. Several franchises will want to invite him to see his fitness level first.
Before the draft, each franchise has the right to bring 30 players to their facilities (Top-30 visits). There, the staffs can see their athletic qualities up close. They can also test them according to game patterns specific to their system: whether on the field or in the video room to assess their understanding. And of course, they also get a better idea of the player’s personality.
In 2022, the Panthers had thus been seduced by the visits of Matt Corral and Ikem Ekwonu. Dallas by that of “under the radar” DaRon Bland, one of their revelations in 2022. And when the franchises have a need for a particular position, they manage to bring several from this position on the same day: the Lions had thus been able to compare Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker and Kayvon Thibodeaux in their installations.
An accomplished player with an exemplary temperament, Nolan Smith should receive many positive impressions during his visits: as much as the film’s 5 Oscars Interstellar in 2015?
If I was a draft pick: 25-55
His position in the 2023 Draft is currently impossible to predict. His state of health as well as a profile that does not correspond to all the patterns are, for the moment, fluctuating his place in the mock drafts.
If I were an NFL team: New Orleans Saints
With the choice 29 or 40, Nolan Smith could be available for the Saints and it would make sense on many levels.
Already, because at the position of defensive end Marcus Davenport is out of contract and Payton Turner is still injured (like at university!). Cameron Jordan is still effective despite his 33 years, but there is a real need to support him better, then to replace him in the medium term.
Also, because the head coach is Dennis Allen. The latter was defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos when in 2011, the Colorado franchise drafted Von Miller. With a similar size, the current Bills player was aligned not in defensive-end, but on the second curtain.
Dennis Allen used linebacker Kaden Ellis in this role in 2022. But he too is out of contract. Nolan Smith is therefore an option of Prestige in this system.
For all these reasons, Nolan Smith would make sense in the bayou and he could receive the nickname “NOLA Smith” there! (New Orleans LouisianA)
references to Christopher Nolan films in italics.