Originally written on DraftAce  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Harrison Smith S Notre Dame #22 Ht: 6’2″

Wt: 213

  Strengths: Prototypical size and strength for a strong safety. Smart, patient player; does a nice job staying in his space and not biting on fakes or over-pursuing. Some experience blitzing off the edge; gets a nice jump and is quick enough to evade blockers in the backfield. Consistently takes the correct angles in pursuit and is a real asset in run support. Keeps his eyes in the backfield and is quick to adjust; adept at reading the quarterback’s eyes. Adequate straight-line speed. Weaknesses: Limited ball skills; does a nice job putting himself in position to make plays but doesn’t have the hands to come down with many interceptions. More fast than quick. Limited athleticism; doesn’t have the change-of-direction ability necessary to stick with more athletic tight ends and running backs in coverage; also gets juked out of potential tackles too often; simply lacks the quick feet and smooth hips to stay with pure athletes in the open field. Comments: Smith is an intriguing prospect who should make an immediate impact on special teams and may have a future as a starter at strong safety. When moving forward (playing the run) he looks like a legitimate top-50 pick, and is clearly an asset when playing in tight spaces. When asked to make plays on the move however, such as in coverage, his limited athleticism starts to slow him down. In the right system he can be a quality starter, but his skill set won’t interest every team. Videos: 2011 vs Stanford 


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