Photo of Derron Smith
Drafted By: Bengals
5.6 ?

Draft Analysis:

The Bengals got excellent value here if Smith stays healthy. He is a 2nd day talent who likely fell due to concerns over recent sports hernia surgery. Smith is undersized, but he is of the better cover safeties in this draft and should contribute early in subpackage looks. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 5'10" Height
  • 29 3/4" Arm Length
  • 200LBS. Weight
  • 9" Hands


Started all 14 games in 2014 and was second on the team in tackles with 93 on his way to being selected first-team All-Mountain West. Had nine punt returns, including a long of 52 yards. Selected first-team All-Mountain West in 2012 and 2013, starting all 26 games and making 166 tackles and 13 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, over that two-year span. Made 15 interceptions during his 56-game career. Received medical redshirt for broken arm in 2011. Was a quarterback, safety and punter in high school and averaged 17 points per game for prep basketball team.

Pro Day Results

40-yard dash: 4.6 seconds
Vertical jump: 34 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 3 inches
Short shuttle: 4.48 seconds
3-cone: 6.94 seconds
Bench: 18 reps of 225 pounds



Productive four-year starter. Modern-day safety with the ability to play near line or in single-high coverage. Easy mover. Has outstanding coverage skills and can mirror in coverage over the slot. Can be physical. Former high school quarterback with above-average football intelligence. Instinctive with plus field vision and ability to track ball. Outstanding ball skills with playmaking potential. Thirteen interceptions over sophomore and junior season. Burst to close on boundary throws down the field.


Tried to do too much in 2014 for inconsistent Fresno State defense. Ventured beyond prescribed area with mixed results. Will take questionable angles to the ball against run and pass. Undersized. Short-armed with limited high-point ability. Overly reliant on body positioning against big receivers when ball is in the air. NFL tight ends are too big for him in coverage. Too wild as a tackler. Saw his broken- and missed-tackle stats spike.

Draft Projection

Round 2 or 3

Sources Tell Us

"His height is going to hurt his draft stock. He's a good hitter and just average in coverage, but I'm telling you that teams don't like their safeties to be 5'10 or below." - AFC executive

NFL Comparison

Marcus Gilchrist

Bottom Line

Lacks ideal size for the position, but checks off just about every other box teams will be looking for. Smith's ability to match up in space against slot receivers and his willingness to get downhill and tackle will be coveted. Smith must learn to play under control as a tackler, but he should have a shot to come in and compete for a starting-safety or slot-corner job quickly.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.