The Georgia Bulldogs’ secondary was decimated by the NFL Draft this spring. Nevertheless, in touchdown Tykee Smith from the switch portal, they secured a security who could possibly be the most effective on the place within the 2022 NFL Draft. Versatile, clever, and with a physicality that belies his diminutive stature, Smith’s scouting report breaks down why he’s held in such excessive regard across the nation.
Tykee Smith NFL Draft Profile
- Place: Security
- College: Georgia
- Present Yr: Junior
- Top: 5’10”
- Weight: 198 kilos
Tykee Smith Scouting Report
Smith’s scouting report may be damaged down into three important elements — versatility, intelligence, and physicality.
Throughout his time at West Virginia, he performed the STAR function. That function contains him enjoying within the field, masking within the slot, and a few split-field security. He’ll reprise that function at Georgia, the place he may play parts of the linebacker place. On account of this function, Smith brings versatility that can be priceless on the subsequent stage.
While you play a task that mixes a number of alignments, it’s essential to have soccer intelligence. Fortunately, Smith has it in spades. His highschool coaches have raved about his consideration to element in preparation. That is evident when finding out his sport tape. The Georgia security demonstrates a superb potential to learn the sport. Fakes and trickery don’t simply sway Smith. Moreover, he exhibits a formidable potential to take a measured strategy to the sport relatively than speeding in like a bull in a china store.
An excellent tackler who’s adept in protection and in opposition to the run
Smith is routinely ready to affect the sport, whether or not in opposition to the run or in protection. Smith is equally expert in each aspects of the sport. He frequently makes performs on the ball in protection regardless of his diminutive stature. Moreover, the junior security is sticky in protection, showcasing spectacular change-of-direction potential to reflect and recuperate as required. Towards the run, his tackling potential and intelligence guarantee he constantly makes the play.
Smith’s tackling potential is excellent. He shows spectacular approach mixed with a physicality that belies his measurement. He routinely wraps up when making a deal with. Due to this fact, examples of him lacking tackles or permitting a participant to flee his grasp have been a rarity in his movie. For a smaller defensive again, he doesn’t draw back from contact. Moreover, he shows a formidable potential to shed blocks on his solution to the ball service.
Areas for enchancment
It’s doubtlessly harsh to explain this as an space for enchancment, however Smith’s utilization at West Virginia does go away questions from an NFL Draft perspective. Though he has demonstrated versatility, he hasn’t been used as a single-high security. Because of this, it’s unimaginable to find out how profitable he may be in that utilization.
Moreover, it’s problematic to establish his vary. Smith seems to have some spectacular play pace, however he can’t be described as distinctive or elite in that regard.
Though Smith has demonstrated protection potential and physicality past his measurement, that might show to be a problem for the NFL. There have been a number of examples of him being manhandled and put to the bottom on his tape.
General, nevertheless, Smith needs to be thought of one of many best safety prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class. If he transitions his excellent play from West Virginia to Georgia, he’ll additional elevate his inventory. Presently, I’d envision him being a second-round choice.
Tykee Smith Participant Profile
Smith’s path to the NFL Draft has taken him actually from the underside, proper to the apex of school soccer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he grew up in a spot known as “Da Backside,” the place you have been fortunate to make it to see the age of 18. Whereas enjoying highschool soccer for Imhotep Institute Constitution, the versatile younger athlete noticed shut mates succumb to native points with lawlessness.
Soccer represented a approach out for Smith, and he excelled as a flexible weapon all around the gridiron. He racked up 971 speeding yards and 18 touchdowns throughout his profession whereas averaging 9.5 yards per carry. Smith additionally snagged 11 receptions for 261 yards and 5 touchdowns. Moreover, he contributed on particular groups, placing his athletic potential to good use as a kick returner.
Regardless of the offensive success, Smith was recruited as a security. He’d amassed 63 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 5 interceptions by the point his highschool profession got here to an finish. His play earned him USA Right this moment Pennsylvania All-American honors in 2017 whereas serving to his crew to an 11-3 document and state runner-up in 2018.
Smith’s school soccer future had already been secured earlier than that profitable senior season. Though he was a three-star recruit, the versatile playmaker from Pennsylvania attracted nearly 20 provides. In-state Temple College was the primary to supply, whereas Penn State entertained the ninth-best participant within the space (however by no means prolonged a suggestion). The second provide got here from West Virginia, and their eagerness and fixed contact all through the method led Smith to commit in an emotional video the place he honored his fallen good friend.
Smith additionally spoke in regards to the atmosphere and match of their protection throughout an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I identical to the atmosphere there. It felt like dwelling just about instantly. I additionally suppose their defensive scheme suits my fashion of play.”
He wasn’t flawed. After making his debut in opposition to James Madison, Smith made eight begins whereas showing in 12 video games as a real freshman for WVU. His affect was each rapid and spectacular. Inside 4 video games, the younger security had corraled 11 tackles and a couple of cross breakups, incomes him a begin in his fifth sport in opposition to Texas.
Smith secured his first collegiate interception one sport later, taking a 15-yard decide to the home in opposition to Iowa State. He’d add a second within the season finale in opposition to TCU to place a bow on an outstanding freshman marketing campaign. Tallying 53 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pressured fumble, 2 interceptions, and 4 cross breakups, Smith earned FWAA Freshman All-American honors and an All-Massive 12 honorable point out.
The WVU security would return to terrorize TCU in his sophomore season. Smith earned Massive 12 Defensive Participant of the Week honors in a mid-November win over the Horned Frogs. Showcasing all the pieces that epitomizes his distinctive potential, Smith racked up a career-high 9 tackles that included a deal with for loss whereas snagging profession interception No. 4.
An award-winning season takes the protection to the SEC
The efficiency capped off a 2020 season the place he asserted himself as the most effective defensive backs within the nation. Smith totaled 61 tackles, 2 interceptions, 8 tackles for loss, and 5 cross breakups from 9 begins. He acquired many accolades throughout a number of media retailers, with All-American and All-Massive 12 recognition and a putting as a semifinalist for the celebrated Jim Thorpe Award.
Smith had helped West Virginia to be the highest passing protection within the nation in 2020. Nevertheless, one other aspect in that success — defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator Jahmile Addae — headed down the nation street to Athens, Georgia, following the season. In March, Smith introduced he would even be leaving this system. Unsurprisingly, in early April, he introduced he was reuniting with Addae at Georgia.
Having already established himself as the most effective gamers within the Massive 12, the transfer presents a superb alternative for Smith. He will get to showcase his skills in arguably the most important convention in school soccer. Moreover, he does so at a program with two defensive backs chosen within the first spherical of the NFL Draft within the final two years.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft Analyst for Pro Soccer Community. You may comply with him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.