The college football season is officially upon us, and with that comes with new film to watch prior to the NFL Draft. It is extremely early on in the season, and for the most part, this is just a prediction given the amount of unknowns that can happen in a season. However, each year there is always at least one player who rises and another who falls who can completely change everything we think we know at present.
With that being said, there are a lot of unknowns following week one, but the first game has the ability to set the tone for the rest of the season. Throughout the season there are many variables that can and will change a player’s draft stock. However, with film from last season, and a game or two from this season, I want offer up a player or two who I think can be an impact player for the K.C. Chiefs down the road.
Since this is my first article of this new weekly series, I figured I should give you a guideline as to what I will cover on a weekly basis. As many of you know, and as I stated above, it’s way too early to compile an accurate mock draft or give an extensive watch list. With that said, after debating on how I could implement my scouting background, I decided to go with this series.
Each week I will release an article with a name of a player or two who I feel could be a future contributor in the Chiefs organization. It’s early on and I don’t want to read too much into a player’s film, so I’ll start off with one prospect. As the season goes on, I’ll continue to build.
Tykee Smith, S, Georgia
Tykee Smith transferred from West Virginia to Georgia in hopes of getting himself in a better situation. Although he missed the first game of the season against Clemson, he has no limitations to his game.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, he attended Imhotep Institute where he was able to create a name for himself. After high school he was able to finish as a three star recruit according to 24/7 Sports. Although a three-star recruit is respectable for a player who possesses the potential to be a top safety in the NFL, he didn’t quite make the name for himself like I though. Smith was ranked ninth in Pennsylvania—the 43rd ranked safety and 526th nationally (all-time). However, that was high school, and players develop and get better as they get bigger, stronger, and smarter. The epitome of that would be Tykee Smith.
Smith is a incredible talent who is going to end up being one of the best safeties in college football in ’21. He’s projected to be a big impact on the Bulldogs defense, as he was considered a valuable loss after missing week one due to a foot injury. Once he comes back, the scouting community will know his name.
Smith aligns primarily at the safety position, but with his versatility, he also aligns in the nickel and plays in coverage. He has elite athleticism that is displayed with his ability to move all over the field. Primarily working sideline-to-sideline to make plays on film, he stands out.
Although he is very good at playing over the top, his most valuable asset is arguably his ability to stop the run game. He is a extremely aggressive defender and is a phenomenal tackler. In fact, he is perhaps the best tackler outside of Kyle Hamilton at the safety position.
Smith doesn’t have too many concerns that show up on film, but some were still present. A 5’8″ safety who plays a hard hitting and aggressive game, the constant impact of tackles could lead to injuries when facing bigger receivers or tight ends. Next, he doesn’t display great ball skills and isn’t aggressive when given 50/50 ball opportunities. Although the lack of ball skills isn’t a huge selling point, it does minimize the ability for turnovers, which could be crucial in a big game.
How he Fits
Why focus at safety? With the team waiting on a Tyrann Mathieu extension, the Chiefs only certainty in the future is Juan Thornhill, whose long-term health remains in question, and a play call dependent option in Daniel Sorensen. With the lack of safety depth, and not having great trust in the safeties who could replace Mathieu (or work alongside him long term), drafting a pro-ready safety should be the primary target with an early pick.