Two-year starter who earned Third Team All-Big Ten honors as a senior with 56 tackles (15 for loss), five sacks and 10 quarterback hurries. Made 40 tackles (15 for loss) with eight sacks to earn Honorable Mention All-Big Ten as a junior. Sixth in Illinois history with 38.5 career tackles for loss and eighth with 16.5 sacks.
Undersized college defensive end that’s slightly overrated. Smooth, rarely off his feet and fluid moving in every direction of the field. Quickly gets his hands up and effectively uses them to protect himself. Keeps his feet moving, relentlessly pursues the action and easily gets down the line of scrimmage in pursuit. Instinctive, stays with the action and does more than pin his ears back and rush up the field. Gets a lot of momentum going and can be tough to stop off the edge.
Handled at the point by a single blocker. Can be a liability against the run. Stood up over tackle during Senior Bowl practices and showed and was minimally effective.
Smoot was stamped as a potential top 45 pick by scouts entering the season but lacks the size and upside to justify that ranking. He’s a solid defensive end who could be used as a designated pass rusher in a four-man front.