2012 NFL Draft: Notre Dame's Harrison Smith Drafted 29th Overall By Minnesota

The Minnesota Vikings have selected Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith with the 29th overall pick in this year's NFL draft, bolstering one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL from last season. Smith was considered one of the top safeties in the draft class, giving the team another premium prospect in addition to fourth overall pick Matt Kalil.

During the 2011 season, Smith had 85 tackles and two forced fumbles for the Fighting Irish, emerging as one of the nation's best players at the position. Only Alabama's Mark Barron, who was taken with the seventh overall pick by Tampa Bay, was rated higher among safeties coming into the draft.

Generally speaking, Smith was projected by most analysts as a second-round pick for the draft, but it's not surprising at all to see him slip into the bottom of the first round.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for the latest. For more on the Irish, head over to One Foot Down. Drop by SB Nation NFL and Mocking The Draft for comprehensive coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft.

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