Each Friday, Ultimate Autographs will feature one athlete that is part of the Ultimate Autographs lineup. This week's Friday Featured Athlete is starting offensive tackle Braden Smith.
Braden Smith attended Olathe South High School and lined up in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Braden Smith was credited with 82 pancake blocks on offense along with 59 tackles on defense in his senior season.
ESPN pegged Braden Smith as a four-star recruit coming out of high school and was regarded as a Top 10 offensive guard prospect. The talented lineman had offers from Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia and Notre Dame, but eventually committed to Auburn University.
Braden Smith became an instant force on the offensive line for the Auburn Tigers, appearing in every game and being named Second-Team All-SEC. Braden Smith continued to become one of the anchors of the offensive line, being named First-Team All-SEC twice and earning All-American honors in his final season for the Tigers.
In his high school career, Braden Smith was a star on the track & field team as well, becoming a champion in the shot put/discus. This athleticism was on display at the combine where Braden Smith wowed NFL Scouts with his combination of size and athletic ability.
NFL.com's player bio for Braden Smith provided this insight into how he might fit on an NFL roster.
"Smith's athletic build, natural bend, and power make for a lethal combination that could allow him to play outside or inside in the NFL."
NFL Draft analyst Lance Zuerlein was equally impressed with Braden's Smith skills and physical talent.
"Braden Smith has an NFL-ready frame and will impress evaluators with the eyeball test... Built like a bank safe with a broad chest, hulking arms and thick legs.. Weight room strong and field strong... Mauler with power at the point of attack."
With these positive physical compliments to his overall game, the Indianapolis Colts selected Braden Smith with the No. 37 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Braden Smith emerged as the starting right tackle for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 and together with fellow rookie Quenton Nelson, helped reform the Indianapolis Colts offensive line into one of the league's best.
Braden Smith will be meeting with fans and signing autographs on May 25 at the Incrediplex in Indianapolis. Joining Braden Smith are 2018 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard, starting running back Marlon Mack, Pro Bowl TE Eric Ebron, 2018 NFL 1st Round Pick & Pro Bowl OG Quenton Nelson, and newly signed wide receiver Devin Funchess.
For full information on this meet and greet opportunity, please click here.
(Cover image via Colts.com)