NEW YORK – The Minnesota Vikings didn't take a chance on Harrison Smith hanging around for six more picks. Instead, they traded up into the 1st round with the Baltimore Ravens, and drafted the former University of Notre Dame safety with the 29th overall pick.
Smith joins teammate Michael Floyd(Arizona-13th) as the second Fighting Irish player taken in the first round. It's the first Notre Dame has had two players drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft since 1994.
Smith is the highest-drafted defensive player from Notre Dame since defensive lineman Renaldo Wynn was the 21st overall selection by Jacksonville in the 1997 draft. Smith is the earliest Notre Dame defensive back selected since Jeff Burris was taken with the 27thpick in the 1994 draft by Buffalo.
“Harrison Smith is one of the best leaders I’ve ever had on any of my teams,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. “He is an intelligent and instinctual player on the field and a true student of the game off the field. He’ll be a great fit for Minnesota’s defense and I can’t wait to watch his long and successful pro career.”