Report: Penn St OT Donovan Smith to visit the Browns
By Paul Noel
The 2015 NFL Draft is nearly upon us and the Cleveland Browns are having many prospects visit and workout prior to the cut off by the NFL. Each NFL team is allowed to host 30 national prospects for visits until a week prior to the NFL draft (23rd April), which runs April 30-May 2. There is no limit on private workouts. The Browns are done looking a veteran talent and are focus squarely on the talented group coming out in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Browns will have a lot options to choose from in draft, the latest name to make a stop is Penn State OT Donovan Smith. According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan, the Nittany Lion offensive tackle is another pre-draft visitor of the Browns.
At 6-foot-6, 338 pounds, Smith has the size, foot quickness and the high competitive nature that translates well to the next level. Smith started 31 games while at Penn State, all at left tackle. Smith was Redshirted in 2011, and decided to leave the Nittany Lions with a year of eligibility left after graduating with a degree in criminology. Smith turned several heads with an impressive performance at Senior bowl and the NFL Scouting combine. Smith ran a 5.27-sec 40 yard dash, 7.59 3-cone drill, and had 26 reps of 225 lbs on the bench. Many national pundits see Smith as a guard, even stating “He has the frame of a guard and the skill set of a guard probably means Smith will end up moving to guard. His hands need work, but with power as his calling card and the ability to hide some of his athletic deficiencies by moving him inside, he has a good shot of getting drafted and fighting for a backup spot”.
"He carried over that positive momentum at his Pro Day, shaving 13 pounds since the weigh-in in Mobile, Ala., and the 6-foot-6, 328-pounder looked very good in positional drills, according to a source on the scene. Smith might be ranked lower in the media than in the NFL. The three-year starting left tackle is likely to be the first player from Penn State selected this year and there were “several” scouts and offensive line coaches watching him closely during his drills, I’m told, including several representatives of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles. In all 30 NFL teams were represented at the workout. – Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com"
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Mitchell Schwartz is a reoccurring name that is on the tongue of every Browns fan and is walking into his contract year. Schwartz did a lackluster job in 2014 giving up 7 sacks, 3 QB hits, and 12 QB hurries on the right side of the offensive line. Schwartz is a serviceable player, but drafting a player like Smith could be a solid investment should they choose to let Schwartz walk. In 2014 the Browns offensive line suffered some major injuries to key players and exposed their lack of depth, Smith would be ideal insurance policy should the injury bug rear it’s ugly head in 2015. The Browns are a running team and need to continue to upgrade their offensive line, not to mention the Browns once again have question marks at Quarterback and solidifying the line can help them develop a passer. Drafting an upgrade at the right tackle spot would be an ideal move for the Browns, but it ultimately depends where the front office believes he can play. If he can play tackle at the next level he could be an ideal upgrade, if not he ranks lower based on other higher priorities like an outside pass rusher, defensive tackle or wide receiver.
Does Donovan Smith visiting the Browns excite you?