One of the Minnesota Vikings' first-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, Harrison Smith, will appeal a recent fine, according to Tom Pelissero of ESPN Twin Cities. Smith was fined for an illegal hit on San Diego Chargers wide receiver Mike Willie, in which he "unnecessarily struck a defenseless player in the head and neck area with his shoulder."
On the play, Smith was given an unnecessary roughness penalty, which allowed the Chargers to extend their drive and pull out the win. Luckily, it was only a preseason game, so the actual win/loss was essentially pointless. Still, Smith doesn't believe what he did on the play could have been done any differently:
"In the future -- there's not a whole lot I really can change with that hit -- but I'll try to aim low. I don't know if that's safer or not for the offensive guy, but it is what it is."
Smith also said that "stuff happens in football," and that he wasn't trying to hit him in the end. It's generally all on the defensive player if something goes wrong with a tackle. Smith's fine is for $21,000, not a small chunk of change for a rookie in the NFL, even if he is a first-round pick.