Rookie Profile: Tykee Smith

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Rookie Profile: Tykee Smith, S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Welcome to the Rookie Profile: Tykee Smith, a safety out of Georgia. He is from Philadelphia, PA, and was a 3-star recruit from Imhotep Institute High School.

Smith started his college career at the University of West Virginia in 2019. He played in 12 games and put up solid stats. He recorded 36 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions in an impressive debut season.

In 2020 he would once again put up excellent numbers. In 10 games he would record 33 tackles and two interceptions and would turn that into a transfer to the Georgia Bulldogs.

His first season at Georgia was marred by injuries and saw him play in only one game.

He would rebound in 2022 and 2023 where he posted a combined 68 tackles, 4 sacks, and 4 interceptions before declaring for the 2024 NFL Draft.


Tykee Smith

Draft Capital & Landing Spot

Draft Capital- Round 3 Pick 89

  • The third round is an interesting level of capital to commit to a player who is essentially a developmental player at a position of strength. Day two draft capital is a sizeable investment, but it’s peculiar as it appears to be more of a long-term pick for the future.
  • I’m not sure what to make of this draft capital. It’s a good sign if he can find a way onto the field consistently.

Landing Spot- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • At face value, the Buccaneers would appear to be a terrible landing spot for Smith. Their current win-now roster alone would make it unlikely that he can contribute in any significant way as a rookie.
  • The only hope here is that he can learn behind their veterans and find a way onto the field sooner rather than later. An injury could be his only chance at seeing much production in the immediate future.

Team Depth Chart

Expected Role: Developmental Safety

Tampa Bay Buccaneers IDP Depth Chart

Depth Chart via Fantasy Pros

Fantasy Impact

The reasons for Kirby Smart and Georgia’s enthusiasm in acquiring Smith from West Virginia are quickly apparent. Smith, who plays the “Star” position, essentially acts as an extra linebacker despite his smaller stature. Excelling when advancing, he possesses the strength to engage blockers and interfere with receivers’ routes.

Although compact and robust, Smith’s shorter reach may hinder his effectiveness in deep coverage. His NFL-level intensity is evident, yet he may be pigeonholed into a specialized role as a sub-package safety due to his coverage constraints.

The combination of coverage limitations and depth in the secondary is likely to limit Smith for the foreseeable future, because of that he should be regardless as a late-round dart throw.

Check out our 2024 Rookie Rankings Page for a full breakdown of this rookie class.

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