Does Jimmy Smith’s talent outweigh character concerns?

Street Talk Does Jimmy Smith’s talent outweigh character concerns?

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INDIANAPOLIS — Flunked drug tests; arrests for possession of alcohol as a minor; skipping the Senior Bowl; and a borderline cocky attitude to boot.

Yes, that’s a checkmark for all of the above for enigmatic, ultra-talented Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith.

He’s also 6-foot-2, 211 pounds, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times.

So, NFL teams are alternately intrigued by Smith’s package of size, speed and cover skills as they look for a potential shutdown cornerback.

And those same teams are naturally concerned about his character.

"I know they’re going to ask me about everything I’ve done," Smith said. "I’m ready and prepared to answer all the questions.’ I’ve told them I’m a great person. I was a young player who made young mistakes. But I grew as a person.”

"Just going in that room and being honest, that’s all I can control. Like I said I went to college and I made some mistakes. All of the issues I’m talking to the teams about are not issues that really need to be out there.”

As a true freshman, Smith got caught with alcohol during training camp.

"I walked outside with a red cup that had nothing in it and you can’t have a red cup in Boulder," Smith said. "So, I got caught for that. It was a lack of judgment.”

 Smith was avoided by quarterbacks last season, intercepting no passes as they rarely threw the football in his direction.

"Sometimes they avoided me in the pass game, sometimes it got a little boring," Smith said. "I had one opportunity for an interception, a one-handed interception, I dropped it. After that I had like three passes thrown my way for the rest of the season. I definitely take that as a compliment. I mean, they didn’t throw my way ever. They respected me.”

The Baltimore Ravens were undoubtedly one of the 28 teams that met with Smith at the NFL scouting combine.


 "I’m a big, athletic, physical corner, I love to press, I have great speed, great size, great ball skills," Smith said. "I’m a shutdown corner.”

Smith has drawn comparisons to Oakland Raiders star cornerback Nmandi Asomugha.

"I like the comparison a lot," Smith said. "I think I have better ball skills than he does, though.”

Smith is roughly the same size as former Ravens Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister.

Like McAlister, he has off-field issues that cloud whether he’ll be drafted high in the first round or available for selection later in the first round when the Ravens are on the clock with the 26th overall pick.

"I feel like the sky is the limit for me as long as I do what I know I can do out there," said Smith, who’s already on his second agent after firing Peter Schaffer and hiring Drew Rosenhaus. "Especially for this combine, especially the interviews are big for me.”

NOTES: Maryland running back Da’Rel Scott is no longer the fastest player at the combine. His 4.34 time in the 40-yard dash was eclipsed by University of Miami cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke. He ran a 4.28, the third-fastest time at the combine this decade as it ranks behind Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (4.24, 2008) and Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt (4.27, 2005). Van Dyke, who’s a rail-thin 174 pounds, met with the Ravens at the combine. Scott’s time was tied by LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.


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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors. 

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