NFL Draft 2015: DE Preston Smith Visiting With Vikings


There is good reason to be intrigued by the Misssissippi State DE who according to Tony Pauline is visiting the Vikings on Wednesday.

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His name is Preston Smith and here’s why he’s intriguing (besides the fact that his name is Preston Smith and it would be cool to have a Harrison Smith and a Preston Smith on the same defense):

Reason #1: Versatility (via

"While not a dynamic threat, Smith plays motivated and has the versatile skill-set that will be attractive to pro scouts."

Have I mentioned how much Mike Zimmer values versatility in his defensive players? I do believe that has been brought up once or twice.

Reason #2: Ability to play the run (via

"Angular build with long arms. Has point-of-attack strength and doesn’t get pushed around. Plays with leverage against the run. Very sound wrap-up tackler who usually finishes the job."

You know what current Vikings starting DE Brian Robison doesn’t do? Play the run. At all. So finding a guy who can play the run at DE would be…nice.

Reason #3: Did I mention the versatility thing?

"As a junior, rushed passer from both ends and over the nose while also dropping into space on occasion. Can be a disruptive player when asked to play the gaps. Has ability to slip and go when rushing from inside position."

Reason #4: Hey, he did pretty well at the combine.

40-yard: 4.74
Bench press: 24
Vertical: 34
Broad Jump: 121
3-cone: 7.07
20-yard shuttle: 4.28
60-yard shuttle: 11.70

Not to be negative, but there are negatives on Smith. Scouts say he’s not a quick twitch athlete (there’s nothing scouts hate worse than a slow twitch) and some question his ability to be an impact pass rusher on the outside.

But he’s versatile. So let’s focus on that. It’s IMPORTANT.

Next: Zimmer Works With Byron Jones (Video)

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