Scout's Notebook: DE Khreem Smith

There's always a spot for pass rushers in the NFL, and second-year defensive end Khreem Smith would appear to have the tools to be just that, especially in the Vikings' scheme, which enables its ends to attack off the edge. Here's a complete scouting report…

#90, Khreem Smith, DE
(6035, 254, 4.82-4.86) Oklahoma State

Personal:  Born July 7, 1979, in St. James, Jamaica.  His family moved to Miami when he was nine.  Graduated from Carol City High School in Miami, Fla., where he participated in football, basketball and track.  Earned first-team all-state honors as a senior.  Was a high school teammate of Redskins WR Santana Moss.  Has three children:  Keesharia, Hakeem and Kennedy.

College:  Began his college career at Garden City (Kansas) Community College in 2000.  Transferred to Oklahoma State in 2001 and started every game as he recorded 33 tackles, 7 tackles-for-loss, 4½ sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 3 pass deflections.  Lost his full-time starting position in 2002, but managed 24 tackles, 4 TFL and 1 sack.  Was suspended after an incident with his girlfriend in July, 2003.  The incident began as a felony arrest for “threatening to kill his girlfriend” but charges were later dismissed.  He came back to play in 13 games in 2003 and was credited with 37 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 sacks and one interception.  Smith played with Kevin Williams and was coached by defensive line coach Karl Dunbar at Oklahoma State.  He was an elementary education major.

Pro:  Smith went to training camp with the Baltimore Ravens in 2004 as a rookie free agent.  From there, he went on to play for the Memphis Xplorers in the Arena 2 Football League in 2005, where he was names AF2 Lineman of the Year, leading the league with 17 sacks and recording 28 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 3 pass deflections, 2 blocked kicks and a safety.  He added another 3 sacks in two playoff games.  In 2006 he starred for the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League, leading the team with 10 TFL and 8 sacks, as the Rush won the Arena Bowl XX championship.  Less than a week later he signed a free agent contract with the Vikings (6/15/06).

Smith was released on the final roster cut last fall, cleared waivers, and began the season on the Vikings’ practice squad.  After spending the entire season there, he was promoted to the active roster for the regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams.  He posted 2 tackles in that game.

Positives:  Good athlete who plays with leverage, quickness and speed.  Can get upfield and rush the passer.  Changes directions nicely and can redirect and pursue.  Shows good closing speed.  Despite the incident at OSU when he lost his temper, he’s a positive person who works hard to improve and seems to have his head on straight.  Isn’t just a one-trick pony, but will also dig in and battle against the run.  Has quick hands and flashes impressive pass-rush moves and technique.  Wraps up as a tackler.

Negatives:  Lacks top size, heft, bulk and lower-body strength.  Was hot-and-cold in college, showing inconsistent intensity.  Isn’t that naturally instinctive.  Would appear to have all the tools but has yet to put it all together consistently at the highest level.

Summary:  Largely unknown player who managed to stick around last season.  Has the tools to excel, particularly as a pass rusher, in the Vikings’ scheme.  If he can kick it up another notch this season, he could surprise some people.

What they said: 

“Arena and the NFL are totally different.  It’s a championship, but I’m just trying to make special teams or whatever.  I have to have some patience.  I’m catching on fast, so hopefully they’ll see that I can do it.  You’ve got to adjust your rush.  You’ve got to rush your edge (in the NFL) and in Arena you rush upfield.  I’m still having a little problem with it, but I know I can get back to where I was when I was in college or coming out of college.” – Smith, on the transition from the Arena Football League

“I always felt like Coach Dunbar helped me in my two years at Oklahoma State and I always told myself if I ever got the chance to work with him again I’d do it.  Once we found out he was in Minnesota, my agent made a call and took it from there.  He works you hard and makes you use your hands and use your eyes instead of just running wild, rushing wild.  He makes you read the blocks and all of that. He makes you be a smarter player.” – Smith, on defensive line coach Karl Dunbar

"Me being a guy who came in as a free agent, I don't want to mess anything up by going out where people are doing stupid stuff.” – Smith, on staying out of trouble off the field

Other links:  ( ( (AFL bio)


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