Trey Smith says his delayed NFL Draft selection was met with relief, motivation
Tennessee offensive lineman Trey Smith became the Vols first drafted offensive lineman since 2014. But what produced headlines this weekend was Smith’s precipitous fall from being picked earlier in the NFL Draft.
Regardless, Smith was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round with the 226th overall pick. It was widely believed that Smith’s medical history — the blood clots in his lungs — threatened his football future in 2018, likely kept multiple teams from drafting him. Smith, a long-time fan favorite, told reporters that he’s “definitely going to be motivated” by his draft slide.
He was sidelined for six months during the 2018 offseason while on medication after the clots were discovered, and though his sophomore season was ended after seven games by the feared return of the clots, further tests showed it was scar tissue from the original clots and not new ones, so he was able to continue playing.
Smith only went through two full-contact practices during his All-SEC season in 2019, but practiced on a more regular basis during his senior season in 2020 after passing on entering the 2020 NFL Draft.
“It’s a rollercoaster,” he said, per GoVols247. “I’m a big video game player, so I have my PC table set up right now. The first two nights, watched a little bit, had family over. (When) you don’t get selected, it’s tough. But ultimately being selected today, it’s such a great feeling, it’s such a feeling of relief, something you’ve worked for your entire life. It was definitely overwhelming at a lot of points, but at the end of the day, God has a plan and here I am.”
Because of Smith’s projection as a likely top-100 draft pick, many believe the Chiefs got a steal.
Smith added that he had confidence that his medical situation wouldn’t be a detriment to his draft stock, and he said during Saturday’s Zoom call that he was examined by NFL doctors at the unique version of the NFL Scouting Combine in the lead-up to the draft and that those examinations didn’t uncover anything new regarding his blood clots.