LSU defensive tackle Maason Smith visited Cincinnati before NFL draft


The Cincinnati Bengals are scheduled to pick 18th Thursday night in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Enquirer’s Kelsey Conway wrote that the Bengals can ace the draft with the addition of a starting defensive tackle in the first two rounds, as well as a right tackle and wide receiver.

Illinois’ Johnny Newton and Texas’ Byron Murphy II are among top defensive tackles who could be available to Cincinnati at No. 18.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported via Twitter/X that the Bengals are among several NFL teams that have visited with LSU defensive tackle Maason Smith, who Rapoport calls “one of the more intriguing prospects based on his upside.”’s Lance Zierlein projects Smith as a third-rounder.

What to know about the 6-foot-5, 306-pound Smith:

Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter of LSU’s season opener in 2022.

Smith redshirted after he was injured during the first series against Florida State.

Smith also suffered a shoulder injury the previous season, and was limited to nine games.

Zierlein describes Smith as a “traits-based prospect with an exciting ceiling but a concerning lack of experience and consistency,” adding that he “has early round traits but middle-round tape.” has Smith ranked fifth among LSU’s 2024 draft prospects, behind receiver Malik Nabers, quarterback Jayden Daniels, receiver Brian Thomas Jr. and fellow DT Mekhi Wingo. Thomas could be among receivers the Bengals considered with their first-round pick.

Smith bounced back from his 2022 injury to start 12 games as a redshirt sophomore.

In his final season for the Tigers, Smith had 28 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two PBUs.

In LSU’s 35-31 win against Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl, Smith had a sack for a 7-yard loss to force a point in the third quarter, shortly before LSU tied the game at 28.

Smith ran a 5.01 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, and impressed at LSU’s Pro Day.

Smith was a five-star prospect at Terrebonne High School in Louisiana.

Rivals ranked Smith the nation’s top defensive line prospect. The 247 Sports Composite ranked Smith as the nation’s No. 2 defensive line prospect, and No. 18 overall.

As a senior, he totaled 63 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, nine sacks and 22 quarterback hurries, per

Smith’s four finalists were LSU, Alabama, Georgia and University of Miami.

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