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Georgia defender Nolan Smith turned every head in Indianapolis with his 40-yard dash time on Thursday. NFL executives and fans were also impressed with the ridiculously quick sprint.
As were Smith’s teammates in Athens, who went absolutely bonkers over the run.
Over the course of four seasons with the Bulldogs, Smith recorded 110 total tackles (63 solo) with 12.5 sacks. Although he was listed as a linebacker, Kirby Smart and his staff used the 6-foot-2, 238-pounder all over the field.
Smith lined up on the edge, in the B-gap, in the secondary, everywhere. He is a freak athlete that helped lead two of the most dominant defenses in college football history in 2021 and 2022.
In the NFL, Smith projects primarily as an edge rusher. As such, he competed with the defensive lineman at the NFL Combine and put on a show.
His 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump ranked third among his position group, and 41.5-inch vertical was first among all defensive lineman. Smith has hops for days and out-jumped DK Metcalf.
And then it was time to run. Smith was unofficially clocked at 4.44 seconds.
That time was later officially listed as 4.39 (!!) seconds. To put that in perspective, Smith — a nearly 240-pound linebacker — out-ran wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs and running back Saquon Barkley!
But Nolan Smith still wasn’t satisfied.
His teammates, on the other hand, were thrilled. They gathered together at the team facility and watched their former linebacker put down the fastest time among defensive lineman and lost their minds when he crossed the line at what was originally 4.44.
Their reaction is priceless!
When the NFL Combine comes to a close Sunday, Smith’s performance will continue to stand out. He had himself a day.
Smith’s numbers far exceed the standard. However, he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in a win over Florida on Oct. 29. His medical reports and long-term prognosis will play a big role in his NFL Draft stock.
If healthy, Smith’s Combine will surely see him skyrocket up some draft boards. He’s a freak!