Another corner drafted by Tampa means many changes to come in the secondary. This guy is quick and was a tackling machine at North Carolina Central, setting a school record for 168 solo tackles, as a corner. He also will greatly improve the Bucs’ return game on both kickoffs and punts. Averaging 28.1 yards per kickoff return, Smith could greatly impact the game with the new kickoff rule. Even with teams either bombing it out of the end zone or trying to hang the ball and pin it deep, he can make plays the Bucs really never had on a consistent basis.
As I stated with Hargreaves, corner is not the biggest need and the Bucs could have taken a much more pressing need with safety Miles Killebrew still on the board. Smith can be a playmaker on kick returns but is fifth or sixth in line on the Bucs’ depth chart at corner. Not only that, Hassan Ridgeway and Andrew Billings were on the board. Defensive tackle and safety were pressing needs on the team and they didn’t address either position.
The fourth round is not a place you usually find starters but Killebrew, Ridgeway, and Billings would have had a much more likely chance at starting over Conte, McDougald, or McDonald. The Bucs got solid depth but could have gotten a starter instead.
If they want they can try him at safety and he could play and make an impact there, which could be interesting.
Next: Caleb Benenoch