Florida State Seminoles linebacker Telvin Smith is one of the most athletic players at the position in the 2014 NFL Draft class, and he has the speed to cover running backs and joker tight ends effectively. He’s a hot commodity on the pre-draft trail right now, as the National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson reports that the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, and Philadelphia Eagles have all worked him out this week.
The projected third-round pick has gained some real sleeper momentum, and he could be a great pick for the Broncos. They would probably have to take him with the second-to-last pick in the second round in order to guarantee that they end up with him, but some might view that as a reach. The Broncos are expected to address linebacker early in the draft, and both C.J. Mosley and Ryan Shazier look like ideal picks in the first.
Meanwhile, the Panthers don’t exactly need Smith, as they already have excellent linebackers, including underrated second-year pro A.J. Klein who is chomping at the bit and could start with stars Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly. The Philadelphia Eagles run a 3-4 and have talent at inside linebacker, but they could also make room for Smith if he’s there in the third and they feel he fits their scheme well enough and is talented enough. Smith’s skill-set in coverage transcends scheme in ways, but there are some worries that he isn’t big enough to fit as a 3-4 ILB and not the kind of player who would be a 3-4 OLB.