Ryan Mallett wasn’t the only player that was forced to face questions about off-field concerns at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Tom Kowalski of MLive.com believes the Lions won’t consider Smith at No. 13 overall because of the off-field concerns and says people around the league aren’t buying the positive spin about Smith’s newfound maturity.
Perhaps more damning is Kowalski’s suggestion that Smith’s “football character” faces questions too. NFL types don’t like that Smith skipped the Senior Bowl and hasn’t handled maturity questions head on.
Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes teams “think [Smith] might want to be a celebrity more than he wants to be a good NFL cornerback.”
Kowalski hints around the same problem.
“The Lions want players who have passion for the game and a laser-like focus on football, work ethic and teammate accountability,” Kowalski writes.
The inference is that Smith may not possess these traits. It’s why a top-15 talent may wind up falling deeper into the first round or beyond in April.