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Scouting Report
A four-year starter at Notre Dame and team captain in 2011, Smith appears to have a bright NFL future. He has the versatility to play either safety position and the skills necessary to contribute immediately on special teams. After redshirting in 2007, he played both linebacker and safety in 2008 as a true freshman and started all 12 games in 2009, splitting time between both positions. Smith had his best season in 2010, finishing second on the Irish with 91 tackles and leading the team with seven interceptions and seven pass break-ups. In 13 starts in 2011, Smith had 90 tackles, a forced fumble and a career-best 10 pass break-ups. He is the only player in Notre Dame history to record at least 200 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 15 pass break-ups. Possessing a rare combination of size and speed for a safety and looking more like an outside linebacker, Smith is a very smart player with excellent instincts. His biggest strength may be his open-field tackling and he rarely gets fooled by play-action or misdirection plays. Although he isn't an elite athlete and has some man-coverage limitations, Smith should develop quickly into an NFL starter. He helped his draft stock with a solid showing at the combine, finishing the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds and putting up 19 reps in the 225-pound bench press. Smith could be drafted as high as late in the first round and likely no lower than the second.