Six NFL Draft Prospects to Watch in the East-West Shrine Game

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Louisville Cardinals safety Hakeem Smith (29) celebrates defending a pass with cornerback Andrew Johnson (15). Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Hakeem Smith

School: Louisville

Position: Safety

HT: 6’2” WT: 188

EAST All-Star

Smith is a mid-round prospect according to NFL Draft Scout; however, the Louisville safety could be a real steal in the draft for a team looking for help on the defensive side of the ball.

Smith is a bit slim for a strong safety, but he is more than capable of playing near the line of scrimmage and mixing it up against the run. He’s a great open-field tackler and plays more physical than his size would suggest.

He is also a very dependable, savvy player in coverage. As a senior, he recorded three interceptions, five pass breakups, and rarely got beat deep.

Smith is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the position. He does a little bit of everything, and even though he may not always make flashy plays, he is one of the more reliable safety prospects in this year’s draft class.

Smith will look to boost his draft stock with a solid performance in the Shrine Game. Look for no. 29 to make plays in the secondary and be a more than willing defender against the run.

The Packers woud be wise to draft a player like Smith. They could get a lot of bang for their buck and add depth to their safety position. With a little more development, Smith could turn into a really good player for an NFL team.


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Tags: Cassius Marsh Dede Lattimore E.J. Gaines East-West Shrine Game Green Bay Packers Hakeem Smith T.J. Jones

  • billy

    Perfect!!! Ted will love these guys!!! They need development, they are under the radar, and they will come cheap….just more mediocre talent that the Packers DONT need…..maybe in rd 5-6 surely better people on the board than these guys….

    • Dan

      Easy now, Billy. These players are NOT mediocre talent. If you get a chance to watch them, defensive backs Hakeem Smith and E.J. Gaines are excellent players. Their only drawbacks are they lack ideal size for the position, which they can bulk up a little bit more in the pros, and they don’t make a ton of flashy plays. But they’re great ball players. Remember, the Packers found a pretty good DB in Micah Hyde last year in the fifth round. Desmond Bishop was also a fifth rounder. You need these type of players on your roster. There is talent to find throughout the draft. It’s not just in the early rounds. We’re just trying to highlight players that could contribute and be found later in the draft. If you disagree, that’s okay, but be respectful about the players.