De'Veon Smith 750

PRO 2017 Dynasty Rookie Spotlight: De’Veon Smith, RB Michigan

Senior Bowl Spotlight: De’Veon Smith, RB University of Michigan

Height: 5’ 10 ⅞”
Weight: 220 lbs
Hands: 8 1/4″  
Arm:  29 1/2″
Wing: 72″ 

40 yard dash: 4.57 (range)
NFL Comparison: Alfred Morris, Kenneth Dixon


Scouting Notes: Smith is a battering ram of a back who gives his all on every carry. Not particularly shifty, but just slippery enough, he builds up a head of steam and powers his way down the field with long, deliberate strides. He doesn’t explode out of the scrum, he glides. Just a decent prospect coming into Michigan, Smith blossomed when Jim Harbaugh and Tyrone Wheatley came to town, slowing the game down for De’Veon a little more every year. Smith looked like the North’s biggest back at the Senior Bowl, but was in fact almost the same height and weight as Wisconsin’s Corey Clement. Smith just looked broader and thicker through the thighs. Smith didn’t have the quick feet of some of the other backs in bag drills and footwork stuff either, but he had no problem cutting outside and reaching the edge. He actually took an outside run all the way home during a play at one of the practices. Smith can absorb contact and keep churning forward with his powerful legs and surprisingly good balance. And though Smith didn’t catch a ton of passes at Michigan, he showed excellent hands on passing plays and body control befitting a much smaller back. Smith has little trouble blocking as he’s even harder to move when his feet are set. One concern with Smith is the size of his hands: at 8 1/4″, that will be an issue for scouts when considering likelihood of fumbles, however he only fumbled twice through four seasons at Michigan, losing only one.

Fantasy Outlook: Smith has first-two-down back written all over him right now. He should get picked up in the mid-to-late rounds of the NFL draft and has a chance of making a first-year impact as he’s the kind of guy you love to use around the goal line with his downhill prowess coupled with the ability to reach the edge quickly. There’s nothing particularly special about Smith, but sometimes the thing you need most out of a main back is durability and willingness, which Smith possesses. Depending on where he lands, Smith could step right in as a someone’s primary ball carrier with high TD upside. He’s not a slam-dunk by even means for dynasty — especially so early on in the process in what is appearing to be a deeper and deeper class for RBs — but we’re comfortable using a late-3rd or 4th-round pick on Smith in early traditional rookie drafts, with room to move up or down considerably based on NFL landing spot post-draft.

From the Michigan Athletic Department:

CAREER HIGHS

Rushing
• Attempts: 23- (2x), last vs. Indiana, 2016
• Yards: 158 – Indiana, 2016
• Long Rush: 61 – Appalachian State, 2014
• Touchdowns: 3 – (2x), last vs. Maryland, 2016

At Michigan
• Three-year letterman
• Appeared in 49 games and started 26 contests at tailback
• Carried the ball 470 times for 2,161 yards and scored 22 rushing touchdowns during his career
• 2016 All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches and media)
• 2015 All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches)

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