Gus Malzahn's uptempo, ground-and-pound style requires guards who can fire off of the football and drive their man backward. So when Malzahn added 4-star offensive guard Braden Smith to Auburn's 2014 signing class, he immediately drove the opposition (TCU and Texas A&M) on signing day backward.
In terms of needs, the Tigers offensive line was far down the list coming into national signing day. However, the addition of Smith will benefit the Tigers greatly with their running style, a style Smith can quickly adapt to.
His most important attribute, as you can tell by the GIF embedded below, is his 6'6", 290-pound frame.
Admittedly, he's more compact than athletically gifted. Still, the great news that shouldn't be overlooked is the Tigers' ability to be patient with Smith, who will one day wreak havoc in the trenches of the SEC.
Perhaps an attribute that Auburn fans will love most is his work ethic. As tweeted here by Scout's Randy Withers, Smith expressed excitement about his commitment but will forgo celebration.
Because he won't have to come in and contribute immediately, he'll have plenty of time to develop as a pass protector, and signs indicate he'll be able to translate despite being in a heavily run-oriented offense in high school.
That's what makes him a great fit for Malzahn, who loves to run the football down the opposition's throat.
Smith fires off of the ball with his powerful lower body that helps him move defenders off the ball, despite poor pad level at times.
He needs development, yes, but jumping from a run-oriented offense to another will pay dividends. That, along with his size and motor, will help him win more battles than he loses. As a result, Auburn will follow suit.
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