The Miami Dolphins made a smart move when they acquired undrafted defensive end Jacquies Smith. The former Missouri star has the potential to make the roster as a situational rush end in the team's new 4-3 scheme.
Smith has is a decent athlete with an above-average range of movement. His best attribute is an explosive first step, enabling him to regularly beat blockers to the edge.
Smith displayed a knack for the big play in college. He usually knocks the ball loose when he gets to the quarterback, evidenced by his five sacks and four forced fumbles in 2011.
Although he possesses credible closing speed, Smith is not a physically intimidating specimen. He is unlikely to overwhelm blockers with power and has to rely on his initial burst to get into the backfield.
Mediocre recognition skills are also a problem for Smith, who can be confused by motion and play action. However, his burst and range as a rush end could appeal in the Dolphins' new defense.
Miami needs fleet-footed pass-rushers out on the edges to take full advantage of the size and strength of their defensive tackle rotation. Smith's ability to zone drop could even help him see time at strong-side linebacker in certain fronts.
New defensive coordinator Kevin Croyle previously worked with a Cincinnati Bengals defense that occasionally used players like hybrid players Brandon and Michael Johnson in this role. Versatility is an important requirement in today's multiple schemes and could be the key to Smith making the team.
The Dolphins added Olivier Vernon in Round 3, but they still need additional options at defensive end. So bringing in Smith is a nice low-risk, potentially high-reward move.