Jimmy Smith probably has the best natural cover skills of any of the cornerbacks in this draft, yet for some reason some think he would make a better fit at safety. Smith is abnormally tall for a corner, but in today’s NFL that’s something a lot of teams look for, especially when they have fluid hips to match. Smith’s character has been questioned this offseason, which could ultimately push him down further than his talent would suggest.
Smith didn’t get much of a chance to showcase his ball skills, especially his senior season when he was barely tested by opposing offenses. He did play WR in high school and showcased good hands at the combine. He think his ball skills are superior to Raiders shutdown corner Nmamdi Asomugha. The few plays he did get an opportunity to make a play on the ball, he usually did a great job.
Smith played a lot of man coverage at Colorado, and especially press man, which allowed him to use his length, strength, and quickness to re-route a receiver. He’s not the most physical guy, but he uses his length to his advantage in man coverage and makes a lot of plays on the ball in tight coverage.
Colorado doesn’t play too much zone with their corners, so watching Smith in zone coverage is rare. He’ll probably have to refine his technique, but by all accounts he’s a smart guy with good instincts so he shouldn’t have much of a problem learning zone concepts.
Smith is a fine tackler when he wants to be, but one of the major knocks on his game is a lack of willingness to make a tackle. He as almost a non-factor in the run game and was man-handled by receivers blocking him downfield. Considering his lack of aggression in the run game, it’s confusing how some want to move him to safety.
See above. Smith is going to need to learn to help on run defense in the pro’s, or outside sweeps on running plays are going to be his Achilles heel.
Smith’s ability to sink his hips, turn and run are phenomenal for his size. He can turn and run with just about anyone. He’s a very fluid athlete.
Size, Speed, Strength & Agility
At the combine, Smith put up 24 reps of 225 pounds, very impressive for a corner prospect, and at least shows good weight room work ethic. He doesn’t always use that strength to his advantage on the field, but it shows his commitment to the weight room. Smiths size and speed are exactly what’s needed in a shutdown corner and showed average agility (but tremendous for his size) with a 6.94 3-cone at the combine.
Smith missed 2 games in 2008 due to injury, but has played in every game since then. Started the last 27 games of his career. He was only targeted around 20 times total in 2010. Four of his brothers have played college football.
Earned his degree in Sociology in December, 2010.
Awards & Honors
2010: 1st Team All-Big 12.
2009: 2nd Team All-Big 12 (AP).
Prospect Video Clips
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