Detroit Lions Draft Prospects: Jimmy Smith

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Jimmy Smith
Position: Cornerback
School: Colorado
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 211 lbs.
40 yard dash: 4.38 sec
Bench press: 24 reps
Vertical: 36″
Arms: 32 1/4″

Jimmy Smith is one of the most interesting prospects in this year’s draft. He is certainly worth of the Lions’ first round pick based on talent but other issues could prevent him from hearing his name called where it otherwise might.

Selecting Jimmy Smith comes with risk. He rates as a 6.6 on the National Football Post grading scale. The 6 range is used for players that have question marks that will hinder his ability to contribute as a rookie. The 6.6 rating is specifically described as follows:

Clean player who is inconsistent in his play due to character, technique, alertness or competitiveness… Has all the physical tools needed to become a starter… If he overcomes his deficiencies he will be a star in the league… If he doesn’t he will be a complete failure — There is NO middle ground!

The NFP grade is quite overt in their opinion that Smith has boom or bust potential. That uncertainty lands him as the sixth best cornerback on their board behind Patrick Peterson, Brandon Harris, Prince Amukamara, Curtis Mash and Curtis Brown.

ESPN ranks Smith as the third best cornerback in the draft, a ranking that is consistent with a lot of evaluations. He rates as “above average” or “exceptional” in all general and position specific traits that ESPN uses to evaluate prospects. It is the “exceptional” rating in cover skills that should excite Lions fans the most:

Excellent fluidity and balance for his size. Can open up hips and run with faster receivers down field. Might be at his best in press coverage. Does a very nice job of using long arms to jam receivers and disrupt their release. Shows ability to stay in receivers pocket in trail technique. Closing burst is good and can make up ground when ball is in the air. Possesses good overall range and flashes ability to recover once caught in trail position. Kept step-for-step with OU WR Kenny Stills (4) on several vertical routes. Spent majority of his time as boundary corner in 2010.’s Mike Mayock currently rates Jimmy Smith as his number 30 overall prospect due to inconsistency:

He had an inconsistent junior season at Colorado, but he’s a tremedous athlete. He’s long and physical, but he’s too inconsistent, which is the reason he isn’t higher up on the board.

The scouting services agree on what Jimmy Smith can do but are obviously concerned that it won’t match up with what he will do. The Lions will have a lot of work to do in evaluating Jimmy Smith both on and off the field. They won’t be scared off easily, however. As a college teammate of Deion Sanders, Martin Mayhew knows that the true character of a man can’t be known through second-hand sources and prevailing public opinion. Mayhew was reportedly impressed with Smith when the team brought him in for a visit but it remains to be seen if he was impressed enough to make Smith the number 13 pick in next month’s draft.

Keep reading for an in-depth scouting report and some video highlights.

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Tags: Detroit Lions Draft Prospects Jimmy Smith NFL Draft

  • Dan

    If they could trade down and grab this guy they should pull the trigger, may be a reach at 13.

  • Ross Husson

    I agree with ESPN, I think he is the 3rd best CB in the draft. I am in LOVE with his physical tools: 6’2, 211, 4.38-40, and 24 bench press reps. I didn’t know his character was really that bad until I read a post on

    “Flunked drug tests. Arrests for possession of alcohol as a minor. Skipping the Senior Bowl. And a borderline cocky attitude to boot.”

    Dan, I wouldn’t worry about having to trade down. I defintely think Smith will still be available at #13. What I am really hoping for is that Prince Amukamara slides down to our spot.

  • Scott Bischoff

    If Amukamara is gone (and I think he will be and he should be) then the Lions can’t take him at No. 13 overall. It is way too risky. I say take offensive tackle or defensive end at No. 13. A dream scenario would be for Jimmy Smith to fall out of the first round and be available in round 2. The Patriots have the first pick of round 2 and they will have a full day to shop that pick. It would still be risky but it would give them great value in getting Jimmy Smith that late. Just a thought.

  • Rick Paffenroth

    Smith has all the tools you want in a corner. The charachter issues are a concern. It’s such a crap shoot with these young guys. You never know how they’re going to respond after cashing in on all the work they’ve done to get to this point. For some it’s obvious they were only in it for the money and once the big pay day hits they’re done (Mr. Rogers comes to mind). Then on the other extreme you’ve got guys like Su who would play for only meal money and really loves the game. I really believe a rookie salary cap would help this situation greatly. Paying these young guys who have yet to play a down in the NFL such enormous money is crazy.

    Mayhew and Co. need to address CB, LB, and OL line this off season. Whether that is done through the draft or free agency makes no difference. Mayhew seems to have a pretty good eye for talent. Let’s hope whomever they decide to draft this year, that success continues.