Take it away, Ian Rapoport, because this is something you need to hear about Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith, who the Dallas Cowboys just drafted 24th overall:
Blount's disease is something I've never heard of until I just Googled it. I'm going to paraphrase here what Rapoport explained live from Las Vegas. Smith's medical condition impacts the growth plates around the knees. When he started high school, Smith was still bowlegged. Doctors had to put his legs in cages and re-break them so that they could heal in proper fashion.
Are you actually for real, Tyler Smith? OK. I'm blown away. There was buzz this guy was gonna sneak into the first round, and the Cowboys wound up pulling the trigger. He played left tackle at Tulsa, but may play guard in the NFL. Difficult to say for certain how Dallas will use him. Tyron Smith is at left tackle, so I'm thinking Tyler Smith plays right next to him at left guard.
What really stands out about the newly minted Cowboy is run blocking. Smith is an absolute terror when he gets a full head of steam. He obliterates any defender in his path and has the athleticism to get to the second level with ease. Although Smith can be a little sloppy with his technique and needs to work on his pass protection, Dallas is getting a high-upside, straight-up nasty dude in the trenches.
And obviously, with what he's overcome just to play football, much less be an exceptional athlete and good enough to be a first-round NFL Draft pick, you have to like Smith's chances of succeeding. As mind-blowing as his medical history is, that all seems to be in the past for Smith. As the report said, the teams who checked Smith out cleared him.
Based on his athletic testing, um, yeah — I think Smith's wheels are just fine.