Durham Smythe 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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Durham Smythe
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Overview
Position
: Tight end
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 253 pounds
School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.81 seconds
Bench press: 18 reps
Vertical jump: 31 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet, 2 inches
Three-cone drill: 7.17 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.23 seconds (third among tight ends)
60-yard shuttle: 11.86 seconds (third among tight ends)

Durham Smythe 2018 NFL Draft Profile

A native of Belton, TX, Durham Smythe‘s father Roy played collegiately at Baylor and was part of the school’s last outright league title as part of the old Southwest Conference in 1980. The younger Smythe made a name for himself at tight end in high school and received scholarship offers from all five Big 12 schools in his home state, including Baylor. But he spurned them all in favor of Notre Dame, making up a fairly impressive 2013 recruiting class for Brian Kelly and the Irish.

Smythe sat out his first year in South Bend and had a fairly limited role as a redshirt freshman and sophomore. He managed just four receptions for 25 yards in that time, though he did tally his first career touchdown catch on a fake field goal in the second game of the 2015 season, a win over Virginia. But in that same game, he suffered injuries to his knee and shoulder which ultimately ended his season.

Smythe’s most productive campaign from the standpoint of finding the end zone came in 2016. It was then that he logged four touchdown grabs on just nine catches all season. What makes that feat all the more interesting is that in the games he scored, all of his catches resulted in touchdowns. As a senior the following year, Smythe realized career highs in receptions (15), receiving yardage (244) and yards per catch (16.3) but managed just a lone touchdown.

Strengths

  • big-bodied prospect with ideal size for the position;
  • sample size is small but tape shows reliability as a pass-catcher;
  • possesses concentration to keep feet in bounds when making catches near the sidelines;
  • can react to the ball in a crowd and come up with it;
  • shows potential to grow into a threat on seam routes down the middle;
  • a determined blocker who keeps body¬†mirrored to target;
  • sustains and finishes on in-line and down blocks;
  • able to angle block on the perimeter to keep edge rushers at bay.

Weaknesses

  • below average arm length and wingspan could inhibit blocking leverage;
  • not particularly laterally athletic;
  • might not have the top-end speed to threaten in deep areas of the field;
  • route-running is ordinary and predictable;
  • struggles to release against man coverage;
  • averaged just seven catches and 95.25 yards per season during college career.

NFL Comparison: John Carlson

Teams With Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles 

Projection: Fifth round

Bottom Line

Smythe is one of those old-school tight ends with the size and toughness to be an asset as a run blocker. More than anything, his value at the next level is being dictated by that element of his skill set. Though he proved effective as a pass-catcher when called into action, it’s highly unlikely that will become the bread and butter of his game in the pros. Rather, he should develop into a reliable blocking tight end that can help his team establish the run on early downs and short-yardage situations.

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