I’ll readily admit that I didn’t watch much Colorado football last fall. I can’t comment on Jimmy Smith the football player but he looks to be a good one from what I have read that are paid to know things like that.
The interesting thing about the NFL combine is that it doesn’t just give a glimpse of what kind of athletes these guys are, it also is an opportunity to reveal a bit about each player’s character. It is Jimmy Smith the person that rubs me the wrong way.
I want great players to play for the Detroit Lions, but I also want those guys to be good people. I don’t think that is asking too much.
Tom Kowalski put out a piece yesterday in which he opined that the Lions draft options include everything except taking Jimmy Smith. It is definitely worth a read if you are even the slightest bit interested in the draft process that takes place off the field.
At first, I happened to accept what Tom wrote on the basis that his opinion is based on what he has heard from various reputable sources. Those sources echoed the same thoughts in regards to Smith’s decision to skip the senior bowl:
I kept hearing the same refrain – when there are questions about a kid’s character, he has to be aggressive in getting out in front of it, addressing it and, most important of all, showing his character. It’s one thing to talk about what a great person you are and it’s another thing to actually display it. A week-long audition at the Senior Bowl in front of NFL coaches and scouts would’ve gone a long way to calming some fears. Instead, it just heightened them.
Then, I heard Jimmy Smith speak. The Detroit Lions website has a video clip that highlights the press conferences of cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara and Jimmy Smith. I highly recommend watching the video as I think it gives a glimpse into the kind of issues that are at the heart of Kowalski’s article.
Patrick Peterson wants to work on his zone coverage and other aspects of the game that were not part of the defensive philosophy at LSU.
Prince Amukamara values character and hard work and wants to work on his back-peddle.
Jimmy Smith likes the comparison to Nnamdi Asomugha but thinks he has better ball skills than Asomugha. He says has great hands despite dropping the only interception opportunity he had last year.
Peterson and Amukamara exude the belief that the NFL Draft is just a starting point whereas Smith’s attitude leads me to believe he sees it as his football pinnacle. One of these things is not like the other, and that is a problem.