Smith graded as the NFL’s third-best safety in 2019
Pro Football Focus is not the holy grail for all things football, but they do provide accredited metrics for analysis. When used in conglomeration with other statistical metrics, their grades are a valid barometer of performance.
As an apropos side note, Vikings safety Anthony Harris was the NFL’s highest-graded safety in 2019 according to PFF. In this respect, Harris was even better than Smith last season, which is welcomed news for most Minnesota fans.
Harris performed so magnificently last season that PFF classified him as the 12th-best overall player in the entire league. And that’s particularly astonishing because his grade bested players like Christian McCaffrey, Travis Kelce, and DeAndre Hopkins. Who would’ve thought that would ever happen?
As for Smith, PFF was sure to highlight his pass-coverage expertise. His grade of 91.0 was only topped in the NFL by, you guessed it, Harris.
PFF also mentions that other renowned safeties like Smith have seen their performance crater at times. But not Smith, he’s had nearly a decade of stardom with zero lulls. More on that later.