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Thread: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

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    Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Ever since he’s been drafted, heck, even speaking to the media during his Northern Illinois Pro Day, Sutton Smith has been adamant he’ll play wherever an NFL team wants him to. That statement might have been tested a bit on Thursday. Missi Matthews spotted Smith, wearing a new #42 jersey, lining up with the offense as a fullback/running back.

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    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/05/su...days-practice/

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Wow, really interesting. Just seeing what he can do in shorts I think. He can be a core special teamer and they havent seen what he can do in pads rushing the passer or even at ILB, but maybe a guy wearing a 40's number can get a hat on gameday and play special teams, but be a reserve ILB/OLB/FB if needed.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    From what I read, full back could be a good position for him

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    This dude has some serious quickness and a great motor. I would love to see him become a versatile special teams player and spot player with enough athleticism to do almost anything asked of him.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    I mean good for him, but a utility knife player without a true position and hoping to make an impact as your special teams "ace" --- that is a great story but it shouldn't be a guy you spend a draft pick on.

    I know it is is late in the draft. Special teams is important. Better a useful role player than a DB or TE or whatever that gets cut. I hear you. I just personally am not a fan of drafting guys that have almost zero path to being starters.

    The best versions of guys like Matakevich and Smith are not starters in the NFL. So what was the point? I would rather draft another Brian Allen. The best version of Brian Allen is Ike Taylor 2.0. I would rather draft several chances at having that work out than guys who just physically don't fit in the NFL.

    I sincerely hope Smith surprises me and finds a way to get on the field and contribute.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    I mean good for him, but a utility knife player without a true position and hoping to make an impact as your special teams "ace" --- that is a great story but it shouldn't be a guy you spend a draft pick on.
    .
    I would disagree. I think a 6th round pick is what you spend on a guy that is likely a backup ILB/OLB and special teams player, who was MAC DPOY. The Stevenson Sylvester, Matakevich, Mike Humpal's of the world are the same, but didn't even have the production that Smith had in his college career.

    Who knows exactly why the FB drills, but I expect since its OTA they want to see all areas that he is able to contribute and considering these are reps in shorts, not pads, its a great time to experiment.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Yeah but if he's the next John Kuhn.......... CHAMPIONSHIP and HOF!



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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Tomlin looking for the next Tayson Hill...lol.




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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    I guess Nix got cut?
    All Defense!

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
    I would disagree. I think a 6th round pick is what you spend on a guy that is likely a backup ILB/OLB and special teams player, who was MAC DPOY. The Stevenson Sylvester, Matakevich, Mike Humpal's of the world are the same, but didn't even have the production that Smith had in his college career.

    Who knows exactly why the FB drills, but I expect since its OTA they want to see all areas that he is able to contribute and considering these are reps in shorts, not pads, its a great time to experiment.
    I am by no means arguing that I am right, just how I would approach it if anyone was ever foolish enough to give me an NFL roster to build. I have no problem with using OTAs to try things out. I think it is a great idea and I know the team values position flexibility.

    But what I don't get is why draft the Matakevich, Humpal, and Jordan Dangerfields of the world? Sure they can play STs, but if you have to put them on an NFL field for actual defensive snaps - they will get targeted and grotesquely victimized. I would be throwing darts at guys that project to have the ability to play meaningful defensive snaps at some point. How does a 230 lbs edge player play significant snaps in defense?

    Smallest guys I can think of a niche guys like Manny Lawson at 240. I mean I guess if you get Lawson in the 6th round, that is pretty swell. But I just don't see it.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLD View Post
    I guess Nix got cut?
    Not that I know of.

    But lets say that Smith turns out to be an ILB and special teamer that can also play FB and rush the passer as OLB. Steelers have guys listed as probable on the injury report at O line and WR, so it allows the Steelers to dress 7 O linemen on gameday and 6WR, while maybe deactivating Nix or UGII and still dressing all 3RB.

    I think its testing some position flexibility at this point, more than making a decision that he cant play on the defensive side of the ball. They haven't even put pads on to evaluate if he is better as a primary ILB or OLB.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    I am by no means arguing that I am right, just how I would approach it if anyone was ever foolish enough to give me an NFL roster to build. I have no problem with using OTAs to try things out. I think it is a great idea and I know the team values position flexibility.

    But what I don't get is why draft the Matakevich, Humpal, and Jordan Dangerfields of the world? Sure they can play STs, but if you have to put them on an NFL field for actual defensive snaps - they will get targeted and grotesquely victimized. I would be throwing darts at guys that project to have the ability to play meaningful defensive snaps at some point. How does a 230 lbs edge player play significant snaps in defense?

    Smallest guys I can think of a niche guys like Manny Lawson at 240. I mean I guess if you get Lawson in the 6th round, that is pretty swell. But I just don't see it.
    Matakevich was such a great tackler and seemed to know where to be, I think the thought was that maybe he could play Buck if he really showed up at the pro level. Humpal too I believe might have been the thought, as he wasn't such a fast player either. I don't think Dangerfield was drafted.

    Either way, you need special teamers and not a lot of players drafted in the 6th or 7th round are bona fide starters, so what would the team do when it came their time to draft in those rounds? Should they just say "pass" on drafting that round because they thing they can find reserves/special teamers as UDFA? Or do they look at guys that have been productive football players, that pass the eye test and have the qualitative abilities that the team likes and draft them to see if they can coach them up?

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
    Matakevich was such a great tackler and seemed to know where to be, I think the thought was that maybe he could play Buck if he really showed up at the pro level. Humpal too I believe might have been the thought, as he wasn't such a fast player either. I don't think Dangerfield was drafted.

    Either way, you need special teamers and not a lot of players drafted in the 6th or 7th round are bona fide starters, so what would the team do when it came their time to draft in those rounds? Should they just say "pass" on drafting that round because they thing they can find reserves/special teamers as UDFA? Or do they look at guys that have been productive football players, that pass the eye test and have the qualitative abilities that the team likes and draft them to see if they can coach them up?
    Of course not. But I'm not taking a LB that runs almost a 5 flat forty and not great in the change of direction drills either. I am also not taking a 230# edge rusher. Nor would I take the annual super tall not that fast and maybe kinda sorta can catch late round TE they were infatuated with a few years back.

    I am going to take guys like Brian Allen, AB, etc. That have the athletic profile of being able to play meaningful snaps in the NFL. They may not work out. But the best version of Matakevich is a guy you are looking to upgrade as soon as he hits the field.

    I hope I am wrong and Smith flourishes. I am certainly rooting for the kid. I can't wait to see what happens when the whistle blows and the lights go on. With his pass rush production and agility, he might shock me and be a useful rotational piece.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    With his pass rush production and agility, he might shock me and be a useful rotational piece.
    which is most likely why the Steelers took a chance on him in the 6th round...

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
    Not that I know of.

    But lets say that Smith turns out to be an ILB and special teamer that can also play FB and rush the passer as OLB. Steelers have guys listed as probable on the injury report at O line and WR, so it allows the Steelers to dress 7 O linemen on gameday and 6WR, while maybe deactivating Nix or UGII and still dressing all 3RB.

    I think its testing some position flexibility at this point, more than making a decision that he cant play on the defensive side of the ball. They haven't even put pads on to evaluate if he is better as a primary ILB or OLB.
    If Smith is going to make the team, barring a rash of injures it's on special teams as a kick coverage player. He should shine in this role.

    Is he an OLB or ILB? I say a 3-4 ILB is his best fit, with blitzing options. Can he play FB? Dunno. FB;s need to be able to catch and block. Nix is a beast. I doubt the Steelers keep more than one FB.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojouw View Post
    Of course not. But I'm not taking a LB that runs almost a 5 flat forty and not great in the change of direction drills either. I am also not taking a 230# edge rusher. Nor would I take the annual super tall not that fast and maybe kinda sorta can catch late round TE they were infatuated with a few years back.

    I am going to take guys like Brian Allen, AB, etc. That have the athletic profile of being able to play meaningful snaps in the NFL. They may not work out. But the best version of Matakevich is a guy you are looking to upgrade as soon as he hits the field.

    I hope I am wrong and Smith flourishes. I am certainly rooting for the kid. I can't wait to see what happens when the whistle blows and the lights go on. With his pass rush production and agility, he might shock me and be a useful rotational piece.
    I really cant explain how some scouts, coaches, GM's...qualitatively evaluate football players. But there are references to great coaches going to pro days or watching practices in person at field level and being instantly able to recognize "really good football players". There is a good article here that attempts to do it and goes pretty far in depth. https://www.theringer.com/2018/4/12/...ing-evaluation

    IMO, Brian Allen wont amount to anything more than a backup and likely will be a camp cut this year or next. The guy may have measurables, but IMO he doesn't have the footwork and plays like Bambi, doesn't compete well enough. Artie Burns had the measurables, but I was very vocal pre draft that he looked like a Round 4 or 5 player.

    Matakevich ran a 4.81, had a 31" vertical and benched 22 times... and Vince Williams ran a 4.76, had a 32" vertical and benched 22 reps. Not much difference in speed and athleticism, so maybe the Steelers should not have drafted Williams in the 6th round and I think you are saying that you would not have drafted anybody with that kind of athletic ability. Only thing we might be able to point to is the production and intangibles that coaches, scouts, GM saw. I think the same is what they see in Smith.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Six Rings View Post

    Is he an OLB or ILB? I say a 3-4 ILB is his best fit, with blitzing options. Can he play FB? Dunno. FB;s need to be able to catch and block. Nix is a beast. I doubt the Steelers keep more than one FB.
    I agree, ILB. But that being said, he has quickness, bends well around the edge and is really good technically with his hands. Could be a guy that RT's find pesky to block in pass game, but need to see it in the open field. Potentially Bush replaces Bostic, UGIII replaces Fort and Smith replaces Matakevich on the 53.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
    Potentially Bush replaces Bostic, UGIII replaces Fort and Smith replaces Matakevich on the 53.
    I honestly believe because Matakevich is so good on special teams that he'll make the 53 because of it.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
    I honestly believe because Matakevich is so good on special teams that he'll make the 53 because of it.
    you may very well be right. Then I also think that either UGIII or Sutton Smith will not make the 53, but the way Gilbert is in coverage and the speed he has, I think he should make the roster ahead of Smith.

    Matakevich is in the final year of his contract and I don't see the need to extend him beyond 2019, so I wont be surprised either way if he doesn't make the cut, or he does make the cut and the Steelers try and sign Smith to the practice squad.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
    I really cant explain how some scouts, coaches, GM's...qualitatively evaluate football players. But there are references to great coaches going to pro days or watching practices in person at field level and being instantly able to recognize "really good football players". There is a good article here that attempts to do it and goes pretty far in depth. https://www.theringer.com/2018/4/12/...ing-evaluation

    IMO, Brian Allen wont amount to anything more than a backup and likely will be a camp cut this year or next. The guy may have measurables, but IMO he doesn't have the footwork and plays like Bambi, doesn't compete well enough. Artie Burns had the measurables, but I was very vocal pre draft that he looked like a Round 4 or 5 player.

    Matakevich ran a 4.81, had a 31" vertical and benched 22 times... and Vince Williams ran a 4.76, had a 32" vertical and benched 22 reps. Not much difference in speed and athleticism, so maybe the Steelers should not have drafted Williams in the 6th round and I think you are saying that you would not have drafted anybody with that kind of athletic ability. Only thing we might be able to point to is the production and intangibles that coaches, scouts, GM saw. I think the same is what they see in Smith.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I agree, ILB. But that being said, he has quickness, bends well around the edge and is really good technically with his hands. Could be a guy that RT's find pesky to block in pass game, but need to see it in the open field. Potentially Bush replaces Bostic, UGIII replaces Fort and Smith replaces Matakevich on the 53.
    Honestly, I wouldn’t have. Clearly that would’ve been a mistake in my fictional role as GM. Truthfully, I watch like zero college ball and when it comes to the draft, I'm almost solely focused on high athletic upside after the 4th round. Any clear eyed review would almost certainly reveal that to be a poor approach. But I'd rather Gamble and try to hit homeruns. Take the strikeouts as well.

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    Re: Sutton Smith Moves To Fullback During Thursday’s Practice

    Most pressures by a college edge-defender since the start of 2017:


    1. Sutton Smith, 160
    .
    .
    .
    .
    2. Maxx Crosby, 112
    3. Anthony Nelson, 111
    4. Chase Winovich, 109
    4. Ben Banogu, 109

    Stats are stats, but this tells me one thing: Smith put a ton of pressure on opposing QBs, but in a weak conference... and, Smith didn’t fair well at the Senior Bowl.

    SUMMATION:
    160 pressures is worth the “gamble”.


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