2018 NFL Draft: Will UNC’s Andre Smith be drafted?

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 05: Cole Holcomb /

Andre Smith is hoping to hear his name called in the 2018 NFL Draft

This weekend could be the start of a dream come true for former University of North Carolina football player Andre Smith.

Last year, the Tar Heels were represented well in the 2017 NFL Draft highlighted by the selection of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky No. 2 overall to the Chicago Bears. Receivers Mack Hollins and Ryan Switzer were also selected as was defensive lineman Nazair Jones.

Going into the 2018 NFL Draft, UNC will almost certainly see cornerback M.J. Stewart taken on either day one or day two. But there are two other possibilities for selections on day three.

Along with wide receiver Austin Proehl, linebacker Andre Smith is hoping to hear his named called on that Dallas, Texas stage this weekend.

If he does, it will be the start of what we hope is a successful career for a promising player.

Smith has been mocked as high as the fourth round of the NFL Draft and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has him going in the fifth round. The overall consensus is that Smith could be taken in the sixth or seventh rounds by a lot of the mocks.

Going into this season, Smith was considered one of the top linebackers in the country. He was coming off a big sophomore season for the Tar Heels and was hoping to improve his draft stock.

Now after an injury he suffered to his knee against Louisville, Smith’s stock is down. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid player at the next level.

Smith talked to Jacksonville.com about his decision to leave UNC for his senior season and head into the NFL Draft. Here’s what he had to say:

"“When I got hurt, it messed up some things and I had to go back and reconsider everything,” Smith said. “I decided I had accomplished a lot of my goals at Carolina and felt I had enough film and was mentally ready and was getting physically ready.”"

If he is drafted, Smith will likely hear his name called Saturday afternoon. It could come in the sixth round or seventh round.

He will likely be competing for a backup role in training camp with whatever team decides to take a chance on him. A good scenario for him could be earning a spot via special teams and then working his way up the depth chart. A lot of NFL players begin their journey on special teams with the willingness to play anywhere.

It’s paid off for a lot of players.

If he isn’t drafted, Smith will almost certainly sign somewhere as an undrafted free agent. He’s too good of a player not to at least earn a training camp invite somewhere.

We wish the best of luck to Smith as he pursues his NFL dream.

Next: UNC football schedules series with Minnesota

For more coverage on the UNC football program as well as the upcoming NFL Draft please check back with Keeping It Heel.