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    Smith Has Tools If Packers Go Safety First

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    11.19.11 Game Day 2188.JPG
    Photo by Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame.

    We're just eight days away from the 2012 NFL Draft, with nine former Notre Dame football players hoping to get the call that will change their lives. One of the those NFL hopefuls is safety Harrison Smith, the 2011 Irish captain. Smith is expected by many to be a second round pick, but some draft pundits also believe he could be a late first rounder.

    The Green Bay Packers, who have the 28th pick, may be one of the teams interested in the Knoxville, Tenn. native. Their former Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins underwent neck surgery during the 2011 season, and is still waiting to hear from doctors before he decides on his playing future.

    The Packers finished the regular season with a 15-1 record, but fell to the New York Giants in the divisional playoffs. Smith is one player who may be able to help a secondary that struggled for much of the 2011 campaign.

    Tyler Dunne has more in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    At a sturdy 6 feet 2 inches and 213 pounds, Smith is intelligent, long and fast. He's one player who may be capable of covering today's athletic tight end. Throughout his meetings with teams, that has been the hot topic.

    "There's a big tight end in every division that dominated last year," Smith said. "Nobody found a great way to stop it without leaving other things open. So that's something people are definitely focused on.

    "How do you stop these big, athletic guys? I think the best way to stop them is with bigger, athletic safeties that match up better with them. It's hard to put a corner on them. It's hard to put a linebacker on them. A bigger safety who can run with them and make plays on the ball is something teams put a lot of value on."

    Visit JSonline.com for the full article, and tune in to next weekend's draft to see where Smith and his Irish teammates wind up.

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