When you select a player with your first pick in the draft, getting early signs that your investment may pay off is one of the best things a coach can get. After Vikings first-round pick Harrison Smith got his first start at safety on Friday, it gave him a chance to leave an impression on coach Leslie Frazier moving forward.
So far, so good, as told to ESPN 1500's Judd Zulgad.
"I've got to look at the tape, but I don't see anything from tonight that would tell me anything different," said Frazier when asked if he viewed Smith as a starter going forward. "I would think that he's going to continue to get better and better. We're counting on that. That's one of the reasons we drafted him when we did. We're counting on him to be a starter. I haven't seen anything, without looking at the tape, that would upset that."
Smith's performance included a batted down pass from Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on a safety blitz that left him free to get to the quarterback.
Smith may be raising his profile on the defense, but his mind is set on improving and doing what needs to be done to help the team win games, not on being a starter.
"Really, that has not been my focus," Smith said. "I just have come in and tried to play as hard as I can play every day, learn the defense. Really, that's where my head is at."