2015 NFL Draft Profile: Derron Smith, S Fresno State


Fresno State safety Derron Smith could have some huge strike against him before teams even look at his tape.  His size is the first thing that will be an arguing point in draft war rooms during the 2015 NFL Draft, but sadly it should be some of the other parts of his game that should be much more talked about.

For example, his instincts are amazing.  He’s great at knowing both where the receiver is and where the ball is.  Because of this, he’s great at covering slot receivers and has the soft hands to make the play when the ball comes his way.  He ended his five-year college career with 15 interceptions and 25 defended passes.  He’s got quick enough speed to close in on receivers when they do get separation.

But the major question goes back to his size.  Can his body withstand the punishment of an NFL season and how can he compete with the taller, more physical players in the NFL?  In addition, he does need some work on his tackling technique, but the team looking at Smith shouldn’t be too worried about that because Derron Smith is smart enough to know the adjustments he needs to make and seems to have the desire to be one of the best in the NFL.

September 20, 2014; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs safety Derron Smith (13) defends during the second half against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Combine Measurables:

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • Arm Length: 29 3/4″
  • Hand Size: 9″

Workout Measurables:

  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.61 seconds
  • Bench Press: 18 reps
  • Vertical Jump: N/A
  • Broad Jump: 123″
  • 3 Cone Drill: 6.95 seconds
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.44 seconds

Draft Projection

 Derron Smith is currently the #103 prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports and is their #2 available free safety.  They project him to be a third to fourth round draft pick.

NFL Player Comparison

  • NFL.com: Marcus Gilchrist, New York Jets
  • CBSSports.com: N/A

Fit For The Vikings

Minnesota Vikings will be looking for a starter along side Harrison Smith.  They’ll likely bring someone in to compete with Robert Blanton and several other people for the job.

My Take

If the Vikings take a shot on Derron Smith in the 4th round, I wouldn’t object too much.  It’s that point in the draft that you start looking at the players with a lot of potential but more risk associated with them.  He’s a ball hawk that needs to be more physical, and I have absolutely not doubt in my mind that Mike Zimmer wouldn’t let his players be soft.

Next: Top 10 Biggest Vikings Salaries For 2015

More from The Viking Age