EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings added their first defensive player of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by picking Cameron Smith.
Minnesota took the Southern Cal linebacker with the 162nd overall pick of the draft.
Here are five things to know about Smith:
1. Plenty of hardware
Smith earned Second-Team All-Pac 12 honors as a senior in 2018, despite having the season limited by injury. He was a Third-Team All-American and First-Team All-Pac 12 selection by Phil Steele as a junior. He also earned Second-Team All-Pac 12 honors as a sophomore and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year for his play during the 2015 season.
2. Expert Takes
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein said Smith “can best be described as smart and steady, noting a “keen sense of play development and uses smart angles and proper technique to do his job effectively.”
Dane Brugler of The Athletic ranked Smith as his 15th overall linebacker in the draft.
Brugler wrote: “Overall, Smith is a reliable run defender with the competitive make-up desired for the next level, but his athletic limitations show in space and cap his NFL ceiling, projecting as an early-down inside linebacker.”
3. College stats
Smith, who grew up in Northern California, recorded 354 total tackles in 47 games for the Trojans as a four-year starter. He tallied 26.5 tackles for loss with 3.5 sacks and four interceptions. He also forced a fumble and had three fumble recoveries.
4. Played up a few grades
According to Smith’s bio on the Southern Cal website, Smith played organized football against eighth graders when he was only in the fourth grade.
5. Multi-sport star
Smith was a top recruit coming out of Granite Bay High School in 2014. He helped his school win a state title as a sophomore in 2012, and also wrestled and played baseball for Granite Bay.