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Prospect Profiles: Jimmy Smith

So, with Jesse over at NFLMocks, I’m taking over draft coverage for now. I don’t know how good it will be, but I’ll try. Jesse will have his stuff up at NFLMocks, so be sure to check it out there. I’ll do my best to fill in.

JIMMY SMITH, CB, COLORADO

Triangle numbers: 6-2, 205, 4.49 40

Scouting reports:

DRAFTCOUNTDOWN:

Strengths:

• Terrific height and bulk with long arms and big hands
• Extremely athletic with excellent timed speed
• Displays solid instincts / awareness in coverage
• Physical and gets an outstanding jam at the line
• Pretty good hands, ball skills and body control
• A reliable tackler who willingly supports the run
• Competitive and confident with a short memory
• Tough, hard working and a respected team leader
• Lots of experience against top-notch competition
• Great bloodlines and comes from a football family

Weaknesses:

• Doesn’t play quite as fast as he runs in shorts
• Not explosive, lacking a burst to recover and close
• Is high-cut and doesn’t flip hips or transition well
• Will need to polish technique and footwork
• Will gamble and is too aggressive at times
• Didn’t make a ton of impact plays in college

NEPatriotsDraft

Strengths: Elite size and bulk – High football IQ and awareness – Generates an incredible jam at the line – Very strong and good straight-line speed – Willing tackler – Plus intangibles guy – Loves to compete.

Weaknesses: Isn’t the most fluid athlete – Doesn’t play as fast as his 40-time – Direction change and recovery aren’t the quickest.

VikingsGab

Strengths: Very good size, ideal for the position. Shows a short and smooth backpedal with good bend and balanced technique in his pass drop. Very physical press cover corner. Has the light feet to bounce quickly into the route; no trouble with bump and run coverage. Consistently able to extend arms at the snap and get inside of the receiver, re-directing or slowing up his route timing.

Has the speed to run downfield with talented receivers; uses long arms to be disruptive on deeper throws and also when defending the shorter routes. Better quickness than I anticipated when sent on the corner blitz and uses length and size to be disruptive and close on the quarterback- doesn’t tip off his blitz. Good tackler, uses arms to wrap and bring down consistently. Wasn’t challenged by quarterbacks much, and consistently shut down his side of the field on one-on-one coverage. Throws his body around to make tackles. Doesn’t allow a bad play to affect his game, gets right back on the horse.

Needs Improvement: Played mostly man coverage. Aggressiveness works against him as he tends to bite down on initial move, losing leverage and leaving him susceptible to the big play at times. Recovery speed is adequate to good, but won’t be able to recover in time to always turn his head or get hands out in front of him at the next level. Has trouble with smaller, quicker receivers on an inside release. Doesn’t always play the run with the same intensity, picks and chooses when he wants to be involved. Will lose concentration or misjudge receivers release quickness from time to time, allowing receiver to get square on him in off coverage.

Bottom Line: Overall I was impressed with Smith’s ability as a 6’2 cover corner. He moves well for his size and can be a legitimate starting corner in the NFL. Most bigger cornerbacks have trouble flipping their hips and keeping their footwork sound in man coverage, especially when pressing the receiver, not so with Smith. Though Smith doesn’t show the easiest hips in his turn, they aren’t overly tight and his foot quickness and technique allows him to quickly get established in coverage.

He will need some work if asked to play in a zone dominant scheme as he wasn’t asked to do it as much at Colorado. He has good but not great downfield speed and seems to lose a step after about 25 yards, length allows him to stay in the play but he will still have trouble with the top end receivers. Smith has the ability to sneak into the first round if he impresses during workouts and is one of a few very talented cover corners in this draft class.

Draft Projection: 2nd round.

SidelineScouting

Positives: Great mix of size and speed, has a tall frame and a very fast top gear… Is a consistent wrap-up tackler, will not deliver the big hit or drive ball carriers back, but does a good job of wrapping at the waist and not letting go… Is a very athletic player, appears to be smooth when changing directions, flows well to the ball… Has experience in press coverage, jams receivers with a good hand pop, plays more physical at the line than thin frame would suggest… Does a very good job of playing the ball with the correct hand, does not open body to the ball when he knows he won’t get to it, avoids giving up a lot of big plays because of that… Has pretty good instincts and awareness, is quick to distinguish between pass and run plays, even when lined up in press coverage… Has very good body control when attacking the ball in the air, has a solid vertical leap and will meet the ball at the highest point… Has the potential to be a very good man-to-man lockdown corner in the NFL, moderate to high upside at the position.

Negatives: College production could have been better, only recorded three interceptions in four years… Appears a little thin, might struggle against receivers with bigger frames in the NFL, appears to have a lack of leverage when making tackles… Looks a little stiff in the hips when opening up out of close man coverage, needs to work on getting a little lower in his backpedal and exploding out of it when changing directions… Sometimes takes a little too long to locate the ball in the air, ball skills could be a little better… Needs to work on zone coverage, does not read plays off the ball as well as he does when in press coverage.

Highlights:

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rzaqPIyPtg&feature=related[/pro-player]

GiantsGab Thoughts:

Jimmy Smith strikes me as a workout warrior, and assuming he does well at the combine, his stock is only going to go up. Based on talent, and based on some of the film I’ve seen, he’s going to be a decent cover corner. Not a shutdown. But a good number 2 corner. Probably, based on talent, a 2nd round pick. But, because of his measurable, because of his speed, he could middle first. The Lions at 13 need a corner. May be a bit high. Baltimore at 26 needs one, but I don’t think he drops that far. Does he fit the Giants? As a 2nd rounder, yeah. But, not at 19. I think he has first round talent, but is too aggressive, and didn’t have the production at college. Only 3 interceptions in college. None in his senior year. He’ll go early. He has good height, weight, 40 time.  I think the Giants should stay away. What do you think?

Previous Profiles:

LB Mark Herzlich

OT Gabe Carimi

OL Anthony Castanzo

CB Brandon Harris

TE Kyle Rudolph

LB Akeem Ayers

LB Bruce Carter

LB Greg Jones

RB Mark Ingram

RB DeMarco Murray

DL Aldon Smith


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12 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Jimmy Smith”

  1. Steve B. says:

    Personally prefer Ras-I Dowling to Jimmy Smith, just because Dowling plays the run, gives really good effort there too. With Smith he is a cover corner, who doesnt seem interested in run support.

    Both have good size, but Dowling has had much better production (8 picks). Dowling had a first round grade b4 this season, but he was banged up, and now some consider him a 2nd-3rd round pick.

  2. I think if the question here is: is he worth the 19th pick overall?

    That’s debatable. I like him, personally, a lot of people think he’s this year’s JPP (a bust waiting to happen)

    If the question: Will he interest the Giants?

    I think 100 percent, yes, he will. He has great size, he’s from a big time school at a big time conference, and he might run one of the fastest 40 times at the combine…He’s a great athlete and the Giants have shown that they are at least willing to heavily consider great athletes (Heyward Bey they were intersted in, Maclin too, JPP).

  3. Jason C. says:

    “• Not explosive, lacking a burst to recover and close”

    That’s all I had to read to not want to pursue this guy much further, I know it’s only draft write ups, but the last thing this team needs is a CB that can’t recover when DeSean, Jeremy, Miles, Dez, and even Anthony Armstrong beats him downfield.
    If he works on his closing speed, I’d consider him in the 2nd round, otherwise nothing more than a 3, I do like his size, and have watched him play some and was somewhat impressed, but if experts say his closing speed is lacking that’s an issue.

  4. jeremy P. says:

    Would love for him to fall to us at 19. That would be surreal. We would have 3 good Corners and Aaron Ross. That doesn’t look half bad does it?

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