Position: Outside Linebacker
Height: 6'5", Weight: 265 lbs.
College: Mississippi State
Drafted: 2nd Round, Pick #38
Preston Smith was the 38th overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. With the departure of Brian Orakpo and the reputation as a draft guru for new GM Scot McCloughan, expectations for the rookie are pretty high. The Redskins need a lot of help on defense, especially their pass rush, and Smith will have ample opportunity to contribute. Let's get to know Preston Smith...
#1. Smith attended Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Stephenson has produced a number of NFL players including Marcus Ball, Reggie Ball, Bruce Irvin, Kregg Lumpkin, Kelvin Sheppard, Anthony Cannon, Mike Davis, Jermaine Cunningham, Kenny Ladler, Andre' Anderson, DeMario Minter, and our very own Perry Riley. After Stephenson, Smith chose Mississippi State over Kentucky, Syracuse, and West Virginia, among others.
#2. Upon joining the Redskins, Smith admitted to initially being star-struck.
"It feels good," Smith said. "Sometimes, I feel a little star struck. I'm just watching these guys, some of them played last year, now I'm actually on the field with them playing on a team."
Who is he star-struck by?
"I think Ryan Kerrigan," he said. "Just seeing him in the meeting room everyday, just being star-struck by him, he's one of the best in the league at pass rushing and to actually play on the team with him is kind of great."
#3. When asked which veterans have stood out to him the most as leaders and why, Smith said,
Alfred Morris. He's a guy that comes in everyday and works hard. Doesn't say much and comes in and gets the job done at a high level.
He also said that he looked up to Julius Peppers and DeMarcus Ware growing up. He said he tries to play like Ware.
The OL who has impressed him most so far? Brandon Scherff.
#4. Preston Smith has impeccable size for his position. When compared to other DEs in the draft, Smith was in the 95th percentile for hand size with 10-5/8" mits. Compared to OLBs in the draft, he was in the 95th, 99th, 95th, and 97th percentiles for height, weight, arm length, and hand size, respectively. He came to the team at 6'5" and 271 lbs. He's since dropped about six lbs. and is down to 265. You won't find too many guys with hands like that and those long, 34" arms... Impressive...
#5. Smith was drafted by the Redskins about a week before his college graduation. While at Mississippi State, he majored in Interdisciplinary Studies. Check out the graduation cap:
Bottom Line: McCloughan and the Redskins will be counting on Smith, especially with Orakpo gone. He'll get plenty of opportunities...