Smith The Perfect Ravens Corner

Baltimore has been searching for a big, physical corner like Jimmy Smith for years.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, April 29th, 2011 at 1:19 am | Categories: 2011 NFL Draft, Mike Duffy

The Ravens have been looking for a big, physical cornerback for a few years, and they finally found their prototype Thursday night in Colorado’s Jimmy Smith.
 
The 27th-overall draft pick brings his rare 6-foot-2, 211-pound frame to a Baltimore secondary with no corner over 5-foot-11.
 
“We spent a lot of time looking at Jimmy,” said Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta.  “We have the chance to watch a lot of corners every year, and he’s a very unique talent. We’ve tried to find a guy like him for several years. He makes us a lot better as a football team.
 
“He tackles well, has great coverage skills, he’s a big kid and he matches up very well with the receivers in our division.  We’re very excited to get him.”
 
Smith likely dropped to the latter part of the first round due to off-field questions, but the Ravens performed due diligence and believe he has the demeanor to walk the straight line.
 
And his talent was tempting.
 
During his junior and senior seasons with the Buffalo, Smith logged over 50 tackles each year and totaled an impressive 12 pass breakups.
 
He did not have any interceptions in 2010, largely because opposing quarterbacks avoided him like the plague.
 
“I bring passion, competitiveness.  I’m a very smart player.  As a cornerback, I’ve got size, I can tackle, I can cover.  I thing I bring a lot to a defense,” Smith said.  They can scheme up around me, and if they want to lock me on a man, I feel like I’m a guy that can lock up.”
 
Plus, Smith really helped his stock by running between a 4.37- and 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, adding 24 reps of the 225-pound bench press and a 36-inch vertical leap.
 
“The way he plays on tape was attractive to me,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh noted.  “The size is a big plus.  He doesn’t move like a 6-foot-2 man.  He’s rare that way.  He’s got special talents.”
 
Smith brings a confident attitude to the football field, shades of the swagger that has always been with the Ravens’ defense, while also staying humble enough to know that he is not guaranteed a starting spot.
 
“I don’t expect anything,” Smith said in a conference call with Baltimore reporters.  “I want to go out there and do anything they need me to do.  If they need me to start, then I’ll be the starter. If they need me to play special teams, I’ll be that special teams player.”
 
The Ravens believe Smith fits well into their plans. 
 
With his size, Smith will have the opportunity to be a solid contributor on special teams, but the Ravens envision much more from their first-round draft pick.
 
“He’s exactly the type of corner we’re looking for,” Harbaugh noted.  ”He fits our defense just the way we need him to.” 

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