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Tykee Smith: 2024 NFL Draft Profile, Projection, Prediction

Palmber-Thombsby:Palmer Thombs04/21/24


Few programs have been better at putting players into the NFL during the Kirby Smart era than Georgia, and this year’s draft is no different. Brock Bowers, Amarius Mims and Ladd McConkey are likely to go early. There’s the mid-round guys like Kamari Lassiter, Javon Bullard and Tykee Smith and the late-round steals like Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, Sedrick Van Pran and a pair of running backs – Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards.

Looking to hit double-digits for a third consecutive year, the Bulldogs sent 11 to the NFL Combine earlier in the process. A couple more worked out at UGA’s Pro Day. To preview it all for you, DawgsHQ takes an individual look at Georgia’s players in the draft pool, recapping their career in red and black and providing the latest projections (and a prediction of our own) for where they’ll fall on draft night.

Tykee Smith

Smith started his career at West Virginia where he was an All-American caliber player for the Mountaineers. Following his defensive backs coach at the time to Georgia in 2021, Smith’s first season was a wash after he missed the first five games and tore his ACL in practice the week after UGA’s sixth outing.

Smith would return to play in 14 of 15 for the Bulldogs in 2022 before being an impact player in 2023, leading the team in tackles, tackles for loss, solo stops and interceptions. With 70 stops (46 solo, 8.5 for loss) and four interceptions, it was an unexpected strong finish to what was a bit of a tumultuous career. Smith took on the starting spot at STAR in 12 games and saw action in every contest, earning All-SEC and All-American honors.

Palmer’s Prediction: Smith has been one of the biggest surprises of the draft cycle to me. Slowly but surely, he’s risen up draft boards. In many ways, it reminds me of his collegiate career. The ability to play in space against slot receivers is challenging. It’s something that NFL teams are looking for constantly, sometimes even putting their best cornerbacks on the interior. Smith proved that he’s capable of that while also being able to make plays against the run. Furthermore, he played safety early in his career and has that versatility. I’ll say Smith goes in the fifth round, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see a fourth – or even a third – round selection. He showed out at the Senior Bowl and backed it up at the NFL Combine. Teams take notice of things like that.

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