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Harrison Smith is Still Cracking the NFL Top 100 at Age 34

Smith is heading into his 12th season with the Vikings and is still viewed as a star player.
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Harrison Smith was drafted all the way back in 2012, making him the Vikings' longest-tenured player. The former Notre Dame star has had an incredible career in Minnesota, making six Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams while starting 158 games at safety (165 if you include playoffs). He's a lock for the Vikings' Ring of Honor and has a chance at making it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And he isn't done yet.

Smith, who is tied with former teammate Patrick Peterson for the career interceptions lead (34) among active players, took a restructured deal with the Vikings this offseason to return for his 12th season with the franchise. At 34 years old, he'll be one of the key players and leaders in Minnesota's new-look, Brian Flores-coached defense.

It says a lot about Smith's talent, longevity, and league-wide respect that he's not only still playing at age 34, he's still cracking the player-voted "NFL Top 100." Nos. 100-91 were released on Monday to kick things off, and Smith made the cut at 97. It's his sixth appearance on the list and his first since 2020.

Smith made his NFL Top 100 debut in 2016 and was a mainstay for the next five years. He ranked as high as 46th in 2018 after a 2017 season in which he earned a 92.3 PFF grade, was named a first team All-Pro, and finished fourth in defensive player of the year voting. Smith fell off the list in 2021 and '22 but is back on it this year. Last year, he tied his career high with five interceptions. He had the lowest full-season PFF grade of his career, but it was still a very respectable 69.1.

Smith making this year's top 100 is probably more due to his previous abilities and reputation than his play in 2022. With that said, there's a chance he bounces back with a better 2023 season in Flores' defense. He was one of the lone bright spots on last year's Ed Donatell-coached unit despite arguably being misused by spending too much time as a deep half safety.

Also making this year's list so far are former Vikings stars Dalvin Cook (No. 91) and Eric Kendricks (No. 93). Cook remains unsigned with NFL training camps getting underway this week — though it's only a matter of time and money until he's on a roster — while Kendricks is preparing for his first season with the Chargers.

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