PHILADELPHIA – Former Tulane standout Tanzel Smart had his professional football dream realized Saturday afternoon as his name was called as the 189th pick by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2017 National Football League Draft.
Smart, the fifth player selected in the sixth round, becomes the 139th former Green Wave player to be selected in the NFL Draft and the first since Lorenzo Doss and Taurean Nixon were each drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2015. He is the first Tulane player to be selected in the sixth round since Ruffin Hamilton in 1994 and the first Green Wave defensive lineman chosen since Nathaniel Bell was a 12th-round selection of the New England Patriots in 1976.
The Baton Rouge, La., native closed out his time at Tulane as a two-time, first-team all-American Athletic Conference selection and a two-time, first-team pick on the All-Louisiana College Football Teams by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. In four seasons wearing the Olive and Blue, he totaled 190 tackles, including 40.5 for loss with three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Smart earned the start at defensive tackle and recorded two tackles for the victorious South squad in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and impressed scouts and coaches at the NFL Scouting Combine in February and his Tulane Pro Day earlier this month.