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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5 Things to Know About Bucs Third Round Picks Tykee Smith and Jalen McMillan  

Get to know the Bucs third round selections Tykee Smith and Jalen McMillan in the 2024 NFL Draft

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Tykee Smith

Early Stages

Tykee Smith transferred to Imhotep Charter High School during the middle of his freshman season. He became a starting safety on defense and accumulated 63 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, five interceptions (one returned for a score) and 2.0 sacks over his three seasons on varsity. Smith, a two-time team captain, earned first-team All-State honors on defense.

Nickel Prowess

A one-year starter at Georgia, Tykee Smith played the nickel position in Kirby Smart's base scheme. He combined the prototypical slot duties with an in-the-box safety role. After playing free safety at West Virginia for two seasons manning the post, he transitioned to nickel at Georgia and produced his best season in 2023. Smith led the Bulldogs in tackles (70), tackles for loss (8.5) and interceptions (four). His instinctual play and relentless effort on the field set him apart.


His versatility and effectiveness suggests he can become a Swiss Army Knife in the Bucs' secondary. Smith stays balanced in movements and can accelerate on a dime with elite read/react skills. He displays a quick trigger downhill on blitzes and strikes with aggression as a tackler. Smith can mirror receivers from the slot and takes effective pursuit angles. He quickly identifies screens, and he fits the mold of the modern NFL do-it-all nickel/safety.

Jalen McMillan

Junior Olympics

Jalen McMillan was a distinguished track star and qualified for the Junior Olympics in eighth grade. At Memorial High School, he won the league championship in the 100- and 200-meter dashes in three consecutive years. The long-strided speed and first-step acceleration that benefited him in the track world, translates into his play style as a receiver.

Pac-12 History

In the 2023 season opener against Boise State, McMillan became the first player in Pac-12 history to score two touchdowns as a pass-catcher, run for another score, complete a pass and return a couple of punts. In 2022, McMillan caught a career-high 79 passes for 1,098 yards and nine scores. He has the speed to stretch defenses vertically and is a natural route runner, varying his releases to win the leverage battle against defensive backs. McMillan deliberately sets up cornerbacks with fakes and is adept working out of the slot. He works best when he can maximize his long-strided speed on crossers and slants to build momentum. The smooth operator will help bolster the Bucs' wide receiver corps. alongside Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Trey Palmer.

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