Mississippi State defensive end Preston Smith a first-rounder? Hey, don't be surprised if it happens.
Phillips (6-foot-5, 329 pounds) has shown up on some mock drafts throughout the pre-draft process and is seen as a first-rounder by two NFL Media analysts, with Bucky Brooks and Charley Casserly having him going to Detroit at No. 23 in their mock drafts. Phillips is a big body who is stout against the run, but consistency issues and a balky back (he needed back surgery in 2013 and missed most of the season) are negatives.
But Smith going in the first round would be a shocker of sorts, though analyst Brian Baldinger does have him going to New England at 32nd. Smith (6-5, 271) was a two-year starter for Mississippi State and had a strong senior season: nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss. But he might not be a good fit at end for a team that uses a 4-3.
Smith is solid against the run and has long arms. NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein says Smith "could be an interesting prospect inside or in a hybrid 3-4 front."