Will Jimmy Smith ever realize his potential?

Jimmy Smith catch

Jimmy Smith needs to have a short memory this morning. If he thinks too much about what happened Thursday night during the Ravens’ 27-23 victory, it will not help his confidence. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones targeted Smith, and had success at his expense. Smith gave up three completions while defending Jones during the first half, including an eight-yard touchdown pass.

Through two preseason games, Smith has not looked anything like a shutdown corner. He entered training camp hoping to win a starting job. Instead, Corey Graham has been the best corner during games, and Lardarius Webb has looked terrific in practice, well on his way to a full recovery from knee surgery.

Whenever the Ravens feel comfortable putting Webb back into game action, there is no way Smith can expect to start over Webb. That means Smith looks destined to be a nickel corner again this season, which has to be a disappointment for him.

Smith reported in great shape. He has the size and range necessary to be a solid corner. That’s what the Ravens saw when they made Smith a first-round pick in 2011.

However, Smith’s talent has not translated into consistent performance, and he must guard against falling into a funk. The Ravens need him. If he’s the third corner, he’ll still see plenty of time in nickel packages. He’ll be matched against top receivers in key situations, like he was matched against Michael Crabtree during the waning moments of the Super Bowl. If another corner suffers an injury, Smith could even still become a starter.

How Smith responds to this latest setback will be important. All corners make mistakes. But if Smith wants a bigger role, he needs to start making more plays.

Will Jimmy Smith become a starter at some point during the 2013 season?
Yes he's too talented to keep down (34%)
No he's beginning to smell like a bust (66%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.

14 Raves on “Will Jimmy Smith ever realize his potential?

  1. Lionel Mandrake on said:

    “Bust” is a relative term. I don’t think he is anywhere near being considered a “bust” in terms of being unable to play in the league.

    But for a first round pick you probably envision a Pro Bowl or borderline Pro Bowl player, so in that sense he needs to step it up to avoid being labeled a “disappointment” or relative “bust.”

    He also is still very young. He still has a year or two to flip the switch into a true shutdown corner.

  2. Pat on said:

    His footwork is off. He needs to put himself in a better position to make plays. Jimmy is always facing his man and can never get his head around in time to make the play

      • melvin on said:

        Because his positioning is bad. Either he doesn’t have the agility to react, or the awareness to get his eyes on the ball.Either way, he’s not in the right place at the right time.

  3. Bruce_Almty on said:

    No way is Jimmy Smith a bust; he’s just not the shutdown corner we had hope we drafted. He’s had 2 years to adjust, perhaps he needs more. He may never be that 1st round pick we wanted but he’s still a contributor looking for his nitch on the field.

  4. EdgarAllanPro on said:

    Where’s the ‘Yes but he’s beginning to smell like a bust’ option? He’ll likely crack the starting lineup – someone above him will get dinged up or not be a good matchup for another team. But I don’t think I see him really making a move this season – for whatever reason he just never got much better than he was coming out of college.

  5. Chris on said:

    I just dont know about old 8 mile anymore. He is always there. He is just a day late and a dollar short. He can be in great position and just miss play the ball.

  6. trey21230 on said:

    He is a bust He was a first round pick but y didn’t they look at recovery time on film his sux if he misses a half of step which he does a lot the elite receivers will burn him

    • Robert Fuse on said:

      I think it was last year that Ozzie was asked, “Who will replace Ed Reed?” and his response was, “Jimmy Smith.” Anyone remember that? I do think he would be better at safety where he can lay the wood and make plays, but Omar Brown should be ahead of him at that position.

  7. Robert Fuse on said:

    While I’m a bit annoyed at how he’s playing when he has unlimited potential, he could have a Cary Williams type of season. Last year Cary was targeted and constantly burned and over time he did get better. Maybe all Jimmy needs is a full season. He does after all get injured every year.

  8. Robert Fuse on said:

    Honestly I like Chykie Brown a lot more. Chykie might get penalized a bit, but he is a solid, physical DB. Also, last game he didn’t get penalized, so he IS improving.

  9. spy on said:

    Dav is correct,,,,,,,,Smith would make a nice safety especially since Huff isn’t what they thought he would be,,,,,,,,,,,I hope Harbaugh is man enough to admit a mistake or two and make changes that should be made,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Big Perm on said:

      Huff isnt what they thought he would be? Let’s see at least a week of real football before we talk about that. Spy, you are ridiculous.

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