NFL Analysis


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Tykee Smith 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Tampa Bay BUccaneers DB

Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Tykee Smith
Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Tykee Smith (23) runs after intercepting a pass during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at FirstBank Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Tykee Smith.


  • Height: 5-foot-10
  • Weight: 202
  • Arm length: 31 5/8"
  • 40-yard dash: 4.46
  • 10-yard split: 1.58
  • Vertical jump: 36"
  • Broad jump: 10'
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.33



  • Played with competitive physicality and toughness from the slot in the run game and when deployed as a blitzer.
  • Showed the quick hand strength to shed and displace tight end and H-back blocks in the run game and make tackles.
  • Strong run defender from the slot and aligned tight to the box. Played with a physical component to his game.
  • Strong blitzer off the slot with downhill burst and explosive closing speed to the quarterback. Good sense of timing.
  • Excellent feel for playing 2-man coverage, undercutting and tailgating routes taking away the quarterback's throwing window.
  • There were snaps where he effectively matched up man-to-man to the tight end in Cover-1 when they aligned tighter to formation.


  • A little stiff and tight, opening his hips to turn and run with vertical routes from off-coverage alignment in the slot.
  • Overall, not smooth or fluid with his transitions and change of direction. Struggled at times to flip his hips.
  • Tendency to grab when he had to flip his hips to match in-breakers. A natural reaction that might not be fixable.
  • Significant limitations in man-to-man coverage versus good slot receivers. Was not asked to do that at Georgia.
  • Rarely played on the back end in Georgia’s defense even in 2-shell coverages. Lacks range and overall athleticism.
  • Coverage will be the main concern as you transition Smith to the next level. Limits his alignment and deployment.

Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Tykee Smith
Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Tykee Smith (23) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)


Smith was the nickel slot corner in Georgia’s defense in 2023, but a detailed evaluation of his tape strongly suggests he would not project or transition to the NFL in that role. Smith is not a higher-level athlete in regard to quickness and suddenness. His game was built more on physicality and competitive toughness than athleticism and movement.

In Georgia’s defense he was not asked to play many snaps of man coverage in Cover-1 schemes. Smith played with a physical edge to his game which showed up as a run defender and blitzer. He would best transition to the next level as a dime safety, aligned in the box, playing predominantly zone coverage concepts or matching up to the tight end in man coverage concepts. Though that could be a question versus the better quality tight ends in the NFL.

Smith may not have the athletic and coverage traits to match up man-to-man in Cover-1 with quality NFL slot receivers. And while he was a strong coverage defender in Georgia’s 2-man scheme, it is not likely he can line up and play man coverage in the NFL where the vertical dimension is part of the route concept. While Smith was deployed in multiple alignments in the Georgia defense the question in projecting his transition to the next level is what is he and how can he best be used.

Based on his 2023 tape, he is not a true slot corner. This puts him in the safety category and there are athletic limitations there as well. Smith will likely transition best as a sub-defense hybrid who plays underneath coverage in zone, matches tight ends man-to-man at times, depending on the TE, and as a blitzer.  


Smith began his college career at West Virginia, playing three years and earning some All-American recognition in his final season there in 2021. He then transferred to Georgia to play his final two seasons, finishing his college career with an outstanding season in 2023.

Smith played the STAR position in the Georgia defense which is essentially nickel corner. Almost 70 percent of Smith’s snaps in 2023 came in the slot. There were snaps where he was deployed as a blitzer off the edge and there were Cover-2 snaps in which Smith was a deep-half field safety. Though he was predominantly the middle hole defender in Cover-2, Georgia played significant snaps of 2 -man coverage on third and long. Smith did an excellent job undercutting, tailgating and making plays on the ball. His interception versus Vanderbilt is a good example.

Georgia's defensive coaching staff knew Smith’s coverage limitations and he did not match up man-to-man on quality slot receivers. Georgia played a higher percentage of zone coverage (a lot of 2-shell) and their predominant man coverage concept was 2-man. There were many third-down snaps in which Smith was not on the field.