Auburn Football: Smoke Monday Draft Profile

Smoke Monday is about to start the next stage of his football career.

Monday started at safety for two seasons but was a key contributor in each of his four seasons on the Plains. Monday appeared in 50 games in his time at Auburn and had 172 tackles, 17.0 TFL, 6.0 sacks, five interceptions, 13 passes defended and three picks of six.

Monday earned a bigger role for himself each season and eventually became one of the most impactful players in the country.

Once the NFL Combine is over, the next stop for Monday is Auburn’s Pro Day on March 15 and then the NFL Draft. Ahead of those two landmark days, here’s a look at Monday’s strengths and weaknesses as a prospect.

Smoke Monday NFL Comparison

John Reed – USA TODAY Sports

Monday’s NFL comparison is Baltimore Ravens safety DeShon Elliot.

“Starting a two-year-old with fierce demeanor on the pitch but limitations that could be a concern in the passing game. Monday is an alpha with always hits on his mind, but sometimes big game hunting will result in missed tackles. He lacks top speed to stay connected for long periods of time and his instincts and game recognition can be spotty when processing. Monday should find a strength player role near the line of scrimmage, but its cap could be dictated by how a team decides to use it.

Combine results

Strengths

(AP Photo/Dill Butch)

Let’s start with Monday’s highlights. Perhaps the most notable part of Monday’s game is his passion and leadership. Whichever team drafts it will immediately add a quality leader to their dressing room.

Another obvious strength is Monday’s tackling ability. Monday doesn’t shy away from contact and does a great job of delivering a hard blow and rarely misses a tackle.

Finally, Monday is a point guard, has had a six pick in each of the last three seasons and has experience on special teams.

Weaknesses

Jake Crandall/USA TODAY NETWORK

No perspective is perfect and Monday has certain limitations.

While Monday excels at running support, he struggles to cover the men where his lack of elite speed can allow faster, smoother receivers to create separation. Additionally, he can be overly aggressive in running support and is likely to play action or trick play.

Concerns about his speed were not helped by his 4.52 40-yard dash which was one of the slowest by a safety at the combine.

Projection project

John Reed – USA TODAY Sports

Monday is expected to be drafted in the third or fourth rounds of the next draft. Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling dispatched the San Francisco 49ers on Monday in his latest mock draft.

The 49ers only have two safeties on the roster (FS Jimmie Ward and SS Talanoa Hufanga), and will need to add depth to the position. This could allow Monday to start as a backup and special teams contributor while he adjusts to the NFL and improves his game.

It’s an ideal role for Monday as he needs time to improve his covering skills and should be used in a role that showcases his strengths as a player in the box and limits his time in cover.

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