Nov 8, 2014; Fresno, CA, USA; San Jose State Spartans wide receiver Tim Crawley (2) is tackled after the catch by Fresno State Bulldogs defensive end Todd Hunt (96) and safety Derron Smith (13) during the first quarter at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
With former starting safety Dwight Lowery off to the Indianapolis Colts, it’s pretty much inevitable that the Atlanta Falcons will draft a free safety in 2015 NFL Draft.
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Although we’ve heard rumblings that free safety Dezmen Southward will get a shot at the position, it isn’t a given that he will win the job or that he is the answer.
Today I will take a look at one of my favorite prospects in the entire draft: Free safety Derron Smith of Fresno State.
Derron Smith Draft Profile
Weight: 197 pounds
Strengths: He has great ball skills and is a reliable open field tackler even with a small stature. Smith Totaled 297 tackles and 33 pass deflections in his career at Fresno State.
Not afraid to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong and make a tackle.
He shows great awareness everywhere on the field and showcases ability to keep his eyes on the quarterback and identify receivers. Special teams experience including punt returning.
Weaknesses: Smith is smaller than most free safeties in this years’ class.
Once engaged in blocks, he has trouble disengaging.
He may become somewhat a liability when pressed into man to man coverage due to size. He has OK, but not great speed.
Bottom line: Smith fits the mold of Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, which could excite new coach Dan Quinn.
They both have similar size, ball skills, and are aggressive tacklers. I am not placing Smith on the same plateau as Thomas but with Quinn in place as head coach with his Cover 3 implementations, you have to give Smith a consideration because of his similar measurables.
Due to his size, Smith may not hear his name called until late in the second-round to early in the third at the earliest. Outside of that, Smith has the potential to be a solid player in the league.
How would you feel about about Smith being drafted by the Falcons? Would he be a good pick?
Derron Smith Draft Career Stats