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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tykee Smith (DB – Georgia)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tykee Smith (DB – Georgia)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Georgia defensive back Tykee Smith.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Tykee Smith

Tykee Smith (DB – Georgia)

5’10” – 205 lbs.

Background:

Three-star recruit who originally attended West Virginia. Took over a starting role in his fifth appearance of the season, and ended up with 50 tackles, two interceptions and four breakups. Added another 61 tackles, two picks and five breakups the next year, then transferred to Georgia. Sustained a knee injury seven snaps into the 2021 season, then rotated into the defense as a nickel defender the next year, ending up with 28 tackles and a breakup. This past season, had his best year yet, with 70-8.5-2.0, four interceptions, and two breakups.

Positives:

Productive three-year starter between two different programs, with a nice trajectory. Thickly-built nickel defender who also takes some snaps as more of a box safety. Patiently reads his keys to avoid being caught out of position; conservative temperament should appeal to “bend, don’t break” defenses. Solid base and good knee-bend in off-coverage. Has some power in his hands to disrupt receivers from off-coverage. Uses his hands well to feel routes developing and stay connected through the stem. Does a good job of squeezing in-breaking routes. Transitions look clean. On-ball production has been solid. Solid extension, anchor strength, and positioning when taking on stalkers. Functional strength is very good, and even has some explosiveness in his hands. Attacks blocks with power and can overwhelm smaller receivers in the screen game. Takes nice, safe angles in pursuit. Breaks down well in the open field. Pretty reliable wrap tackler with a bit of thudding power.

Negatives:

Thick build, but lacks ideal size and length. Has very few snaps to his name as a true high safety. Athleticism is closer to adequate. Doesn’t have elite recovery speed to get back in-phase if he’s caught out of position. Tends to play the receiver’s hands when he turns his back to the passer, rather than getting his head around to locate. Length limits his tackling radius a bit. 2021 knee injury may require further investigation.

Summary:

One of the most careful defensive backs in the class, he was almost always playing in the slot during the games reviewed. With his patient approach, risk-averse angles and reliable tackling, should appeal to defenses which like to force their opponents to string together long drives in order to score. While he shows good technique in coverage, especially when he doesn’t have to turn his back to the passer, it’s fair to wonder whether he has the size, speed, and explosiveness to stick with the top pro slot receivers. Probably more temperamentally-suited to a robber-type role at the next level, which would play to his strengths.

Projection: Round 3-4

More NFL Draft Prospects

Cornerbacks

Defensive Backs

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