Tennessee guard Trey Smith heard his name called on day three of the 2021 NFL Draft. The former five-star prospect was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round. Clearly, medicals played a part in Smith’s tumble.
Smith overcame blood clots in his lungs to continue his football career at Tennessee. He exploded onto the scene in 2017, starting as a true freshman and immediately becoming Tennessee’s most impactful offensive lineman. He had the looks of an elite NFL prospect, but adversity struck during the following offseason.
Smith was sidelined due to blood clots, forcing him to miss all of the 2018 offseason. He was able to return for the season after being eased back into the lineup, but the issue returned later that fall. Finally, 2019 came, and Smith had seemingly put his issues behind him. He was able to string together two full seasons of play, distancing himself from his health issues — a big deal for NFL teams.
He returned to his dominant self, rejoining the conversation as a first round prospect in the 2021 draft. Clearly in a COVID year, medicals were a big deal, which more than likely hurt Smith’s draft stock.
He now gets a shot with one of the best organizations in the league, tasked with protecting Patrick Mahomes. Though his wait was a long one, it’s tough to ask for a better landing spot than this one.