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Draft INSIGHT: S Kendall Smith provides Browns depth & special teams play

Round 7: New safeties coach Ephraim Banta will love this guy

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Iowa at Illinois Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In all likelihood, the Cleveland Browns will draft another safety. This group last season was a huge disappointment while the cornerback room shined.

The current safety room includes Grant Delpit, D’Anthony Bell, and Bubba Bolden. Ronnie Harrison Jr. is an unrestricted free agent while John Johnson III was released.

Smith is known for his special teams abilities and is quite good, which the Browns have focused on during the off-season.

Smith only started one year at safety but had five interceptions along with 39 tackles and five batted passes.

S Kendall Smith

Draft projection: Round 6-7

Browns pick: #227 (Round 7)


College: Illinois

Height: 6’-1”

Weight: 200 pounds

40-time: 4.59

Career Tackles: 70

Career Forced Fumbles: 1

Career Sacks: 0

Career Tackles for Loss: 0

Career Pass Defenses: 6

Career Interceptions: 5

Career starts: 12


  • Special teams background
  • Hustler
  • Good ball skills
  • Potential developmental player
  • Outstanding in run support
  • Has the size
  • Sufficient acceleration
  • Dynamic change of direction
  • Plays best at high post


  • Needs to get a feel for his spacing
  • One year starter
  • Needs better range
  • Not the most agile athlete
  • 24-years old
  • Needs more reps in order to gauge his usage
  • High risk/high variance
  • Former receiver now late bloomer
  • Developmental

Expert Draft Site Analysis

On one hand, Kendall Smith feels like a high-floor pick on day three thanks to his special teams work and how that’s developed his open-field tackling efforts and the ability to claim a roster spot. But for all the questions of his age, it is also worth acknowledging that you may get developmental upside. I’d bet on Smith on day three to be a special teams contributor and try to develop him into a coverage player who could challenge to take significant snaps someday.