Telvin Smith NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Jaguars OLB

Darren PageFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2014

Sep 14, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles linebacker Telvin Smith (22) during the first half of the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State (HT: 6’3”, WT: 218 lbs.)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Fifth Round: 144th Pick

NFL Comparison: Kam Chancellor, S, Seattle Seahawks

Combine Weigh-In
6030218 lbs.32 1/2"10 1/4"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle


  • Has a way of seeing plays develop before they do; highly instinctive. 
  • Little hesitation to react when he gets his reads. 
  • Plants his foot and closes quickly. 
  • Natural awareness of surroundings; can see everything happening around him. 
  • Sudden feet in short areas to change directions. 
  • Comfortable on his feet to flow laterally and keep shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. 
  • True sideline-to-sideline speed. 
  • Can turn and run to get to spots in pass coverage in a hurry. 
  • Has recovery speed to disguise coverage or feign blitzes before closing space on receivers. 
  • Plays with head on a swivel and finds receivers quickly in zone coverage. 
  • Drives forward with aggression to meet blocks quickly and close down space for backs. 
  • Drops pads to take on blockers with leverage. 
  • Adequate length to extend his hands and maintain space. 
  • Keeps his eyes up to not lose the football when taking on blockers. 
  • Has balance to take a blow from a blocker and regain footing quickly. 
  • Tremendous usage of lateral quickness and flexibility to evade blockers without exposing gaps. 
  • Disciplined in pursuit to keep inside-out leverage. 
  • Wraps and hauls ball-carriers to the ground without missing many tackles. 
  • Plays with a high energy level and a chip on his shoulder. 
  • Lots of experience on special teams units.




  • Has the build of a safety with an especially small waist. 
  • Clear size and strength disadvantage against interior run blockers who go toe-to-toe with him.
  • Can be physically overwhelmed picking his way through traffic against heavy sets. 
  • Has trouble clearing contact and staying balanced even if he begins to scrape off a block. 
  • Tends to get out of control in pursuit and drop his head or leave his feet to make tackle attempts. 
  • Can give up an extra yard or more trying to get bigger backs to the ground. 
  • Plays with too much energy and bounces around without discipline at times. 
  • Inconsistent blitzer with little upper-body strength to ward off blocks. 
  • May be viewed as a sub-package linebacker only due to lack of ideal size. 
  • Only one season as a true starter at Florida State. 
  • Didn’t face blockers often; benefited from talented defensive line in front of him.
Collegiate Statistics


Personal Notes

  • A 4-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2010 and ranked 107th in ESPN150, per
  • Only started in his senior season but had significant playing time in all four. 
  • 2013 second-team All-ACC.


Ratings Chart

Graph made at



Projecting Telvin Smith to the NFL is a tricky venture.  His size and timed measurements indicate a move to safety would be possible, but that doesn’t play to his strengths and seems unwise.  Concerns about his ability to hold up in the box as a starter will always be there.

Smith is a luxury type of player for a team that has a plan for how to maximize his strengths.  Whether it is as a linebacker on passing downs only or as a type of linebacker/safety hybrid, getting Telvin Smith on the field will pay dividends.  For a majority of Florida State’s games, he was the most impactful player on the defense.  That is a big compliment considering the talent on that side.

Draft Projection: Third Round


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