By: Matt Hamilton, Senior Writer
Former Towson cornerback Tye Smith was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks with the 170th pick in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL on Sunday. That makes it two straight years that a player from Towson was drafted.
“I think this is the best team for me, as far as my style of play,” Smith told Seahawks.com. “I feel like I have an aggressive style and I like the way they play as well, very aggressive.”
Smith, at 6 feet, is one of the taller cornerbacks in the draft making his stock rise for teams. He recorded 312 tackles at Towson, and established himself as a defensive back that could cover receivers as well as tackle them.
After the 2014 season, Smith earned All-America honors for the first time. He also got All-Colonial Athletic Association honors three times in his four years.
Smith raised his draft stock after his time at Towson was over. He was invited to attend the East-West Shrine game in St. Petersburg, Florida on Jan. 17. Many in the media said he helped his stock in this game, so much so that he was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis from Feb. 17-23.
There, Smith ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. He said that was a disappointing time and was determined to improve upon it for Towson’s Pro Day.
Smith got that chance April 1 at Johnny Unitas Stadium. He ran drills for 25 NFL scouts and improved on his 40-yard dash time, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“I feel like I did way better than I did at the combine,” Smith said at Pro Day. “Mostly in my 40 because I know I’m better than that 4.6 at the combine. … I was just being myself. I felt like at the combine, specifically the 40, I was uptight. I wasn’t just loose as I am and smiling as I usually do.”
After Pro Day, Smith continued to work on cornerback-specific drills in preparation for the NFL Draft. As expected, he didn’t hear his name for the first two days of the draft on Thursday and Friday.
However, Petty Officer Suzie Campbell stepped to the podium at the Seahawks’ draft party and read Smith’s name. He joined a small list of former Towson players to be drafted, including Terrance West, who joined the Cleveland Browns last year.
Former Towson defensive end Ryan Delaire, who did not hear his name during called during the draft, didn’t waste much time finding a team. He signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just hours after the draft; a deal that includes a $15,000 signing bonus.