FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots have already boasted two of the great players in Marshall history with Troy Brown and Randy Moss. Now, to state the obvious, they’d like to add another. New England drafted tight end Lee Smith with the 159th pick in the fifth round.
The 6-foot-6, 269-pounder caught 75 career passes for 791 yards and three touchdowns.
Smith plays with a nasty streak and is considered a good blocker with decent hands. He’s got great size and a good attitude.
It seems unlikely the Patriots would carry a fourth tight end, especially since their top three — Rob Gronkowski, Alge Crumpler and Aaron Hernandez — are very good players. Smith would have to have an amazing camp to earn a spot on the team, but he’d likely be a practice squad candidate. Smith has a small dose of long snapping ability, so he could be an outside candidate to make the team that way, as well.
Smith was dismissed from Tennessee before his freshman year for getting a DUI. He was also involved in an investigation for having a sexual relationship with his assistant principal in high school. Smith transferred to Marshall, where was got married and had two children.
“[The DUI] was a bump in the road that ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me,” Smith said. “Something that seemed to be a negative at the time turned into a very great positive, and I don’t think I’d be a Patriot right now if it hadn’t happened.”
“I remember my first year of football. I knocked somebody down. I was real little, and I had to help him up. And my dad beat me when I got home and told me after the game I can shake his hand, and tell him he’s a great player and tell him I love him. But during the game, I have no friends in between the white lines as long as that clock hasn’t hit zero. I think I learned that lesson very young, and I think it’s good to have a little nastiness in you.”
–Smith on playing with a mean streak.