Brad Smelley does not possess the elite blocking ability of Vonta Leach or the versatility of John Kuhn, but he has the toughness crucial to success for a fullback.
Smelley was one of the critical components of Alabama's devastating rushing attack last season as he helped lead the Crimson Tide to the national championship. The senior fullback was a weapon out of the backfield, recording 34 receptions for 356 yards and four touchdowns in 2011.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
CBS Sports has Smelley as the No. 2 fullback in this year's draft class and projected him as a mid sixth-round pick. CBS provided the following analysis:
He is a hard-working blocker at the line of scrimmage and on the perimeter in space, but lacks ideal technique and power in either area.
Smelley is an overachieving player who showed consistent receiving ability as the Tide's safety valve h-back in 2011. There is a lot to love about his toughness and ability to block in motion with his physical, hard-working nature, but his athletic and strength limitations will cause him to struggle at the next level. He projects as a reserve h-back at-best in the NFL and will need to be a stud special teams player to stick on a roster.
Bleacher Report's own draft expert, Matt Miller, also projected Smelley as the No. 2 fullback available in the draft.
PROJECTED ROOKIE IMPACT AND POTENTIAL
In all, Smelley is a hard-nosed player who lacks the size and strength to be an elite fullback in the NFL. However, his ability to catch out of the backfield could make him valuable and keep him on NFL rosters.