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There were a few people who questioned what the Ravens were thinking when they drafted cornerback Jimmy Smith 27th overall.
Character concerns followed the former Colorado Buffalo, and CBS analyst and longtime NFL general manager Charlie Casserly said that was likely the reason he dropped to the Ravens.
Still, Casserly thinks Smith has learned from his mistakes and is a perfect fit for Baltimore.
“A lot of times when you take a player late in the first round, he has something to prove, and he knows that,” Casserly recently told BaltimoreRavens.com. “There’s a humbling sense about him.
“I think what you have here is a veteran club, a club with good leadership both on the field and off the field, and Jimmy Smith comes into a structured environment forewarned about what they expect of him. You’ve got to like that.”
Smith’s potential is unquestioned. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound corner has unbelievable size for his position and ran an impressive 4.37-second 40-yard dash as the NFL Scouting Combine.
There are alcohol possession charges that took place early in his career at Colorado, and there were reports that Smith potentially failed drugs tests in college. But he hasn’t had an off-field problem in more than two years.
Casserly expressed confidence that the Ravens got a steal in their newest shutdown corner.
“Jimmy Smith could have been a top 10 pick in this draft as a cornerback. Everybody understands that,” said Casserly. “He’s coming to a team that got him late in the first round. Yes, he had some off-the-field issues at Colorado, but everybody knows that.
“That’s why he fell in the draft, but talent-wise, this guy’s a top 10 player, an impact player.”