Smith had a fine freshman season, earning eight starts as a tight end during the 2005 season, catching six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. He was moved to the offensive line the following season, and started every game at right tackle for the Bears. He shifted over to left tackle last year but was limited to just seven games because of a knee injury. Smith still managed to earn Honorable Mention All Big 12 in his limited time. It all came together as a senior, as Smith earned All Big 12 1st team honors, along with various All American awards.
Smith didnít just begin his career as a tight end, he actually had success on the field at that position before shifting to the offensive line. That should tell you how athletic he is. He is an excellent natural athlete that has the ability to mirror a defenders moves off the snap. Smith quickly gets into his stance, does an excellent job shuffling his feet, and moves well laterally. He keeps his feet moving and does a good job staying in front of the defender. He is a quick learner and taken to the offensive tackle position naturally after beginning his career as a TE. Smith is also puts the work in off the field, as he has already graduated and is taking post-graduate courses during the 2008 season.
Physically, Smith is still growing into his frame and will have to add more weight and get stronger. Smith does a decent job neutralizing his man as a run blocker, but he rarely drives him off the ball. He will have to gain more weight and strength to make the jump to the league.
Jason Smith improved his stock as much as any offensive lineman during the course of the 2008 season. He was on a lot of sleeper lists entering the year, but he put his name among the elite at the OT position. He followed up his performance on the field with a very solid showing at the combine, and now is one of the favorites for the #1 overall selection for the Lions. He displayed the natural athleticism and nimble feet to be a standout pass protector at the combine, and even showed impressive strength numbers, knocking out 33 reps on the bench. If Smith does not go to Detroit, the Rams are likely to take him at the #2 spot, so Smith made himself a lot of money over the past eight months.