Draft prospect to watch: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith

Patrick Peterson (LSU) and Prince Amukamara (Nebraska) are widely considered the 2011 draft’s best two cornerback prospects. It caught my eye, then, that Russ Lande of Sporting News recently ranked Smith ahead of both Peterson and Amukamara as the position’s top draft-eligible.

Smith left school with only three career interceptions, but a closer look reveals a potential shutdown cornerback. As Gregg Rosenthal put it, “the Nnamdi Asomugha of the Big 12.”

According to statistics compiled by the University of Colorado, Smith was targeted just 20 times in man coverage throughout his 12-start senior season. He allowed 11 completions (55 percent) and one touchdown. The Big 12 has a reputation as one of the most pass-happy college football conferences. Clearly, offensive coordinators shied away from Smith.

Smith also garnered first-team All-Big 12 honors from the coaches, despite not picking off a single pass. It’s an obvious sign of respect.

The Colorado website, cubuffs.com, lists Smith with a 4.35 forty time at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. Though he currently ranks just fifth in Mike Mayock’s cornerback rankings, it seems like a good bet that Smith could be one of the biggest “risers” as the 2011 draft approaches.

13 responses to “Draft prospect to watch: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith

  1. Given the tremendous need at CB and OT for the Eagles, they should look at this guy. But in reality, I know they’ll end up taking another 230 pound DE.

  2. NFL scouts, when they’re looking for CBs, get too tied up by a) flashy interception returns and b) 40 times. For cornerbacks, good technique makes up for a 4.5 40 time, and flashy interception returns tend to be made by cornerbacks who are targetted.

    Thirty teams passed on Nnamdi Asomugha, who wasn’t flashy and had ‘only’ a 4.45 40 yard dash time.

  3. I don’t think anyone was debating forty times.

    Great article, but how about some sleepers. Guys not from a big time conference.

    There is definitely a need for secondary talent in Cleveland. Looks like we hit on Haden (slow forty), but E Wright was exposed last yr and Sheldon Brown is like forty years old.

    When does everyone think Jimmy Smith will go, mid-late seconds?

  4. Question about Colorado’s defense. It says he was targeted in man only 20 times, but how often do they play man? I mean, if they play more zone than man that takes some of the shine off that note.

    And while the Big 12 is a pass-happy conference, they didn’t really have a Sam Bradford or a Colt McCoy or even a Graham Harrell in the conference this season.

  5. I’ve seen MANY mock’s with him going to the Lions. I’d say there is a great chance of it considering the needs of the teams ahead of us. I don’t put a whole bunch of faith in mock’s past the top 10 until AFTER the combine as even the top 10 is effected by that event alone. Lions have 3 holes, CB, OLB and G. I’m confident 2 of those will be addressed [and fixed] via the draft while the 3rd will be addressed in the draft for depth purposes while the immediate hole will be filled via FA. Another thing this does is create more possibility of them trading down as well, and for the right deal it would work. Not one that believes in trading down [or up] just for the sake of doing so. C’MON APRIL!!!

  6. Smith is known as a 1st/2nd round borderline type CB. He really needed to go to the Senior Bowl to solidify his stock. His teammate Jalil Brown did go and really helped himself…. borderline guys like Smith that don’t go to the Senior Bowl either don’t go because they get bad advice, have an inflated self-opinion, or they have something to hide.

    As for Smith and his 4.35 40…. I doubt it, he’s known as a 4.5 guy, he may run better than that but it is highly doubtful he gets under 4.4.

  7. He’s EASILY the best corner in the draft, before you ask him to turn and run with someone.

    The kid has stiff hips. Speed receivers can blow by him in the NFL.

    I could see another Nnamdi Asomugha, but someone will have to fix how he’s built first (which may not be possible. . . it takes a lot of weight training and conditioning to retrain muscles).

  8. CAL is going to have a monster defense next year as they picked up Colorado’s defensive backs coach.

  9. Another guy no one was talking about, but impressed me when I saw the early VT-Boise St game was Brandyn Thompson of Boise State. Anyway, I remember first hearing of Jimmy Smith, and if a name means anything (not on this board, actually ON the field) I believe a certain Jaguar was one of the most dependable players on the field when he played. Slightly unrelated, but tbh, I think most people saw Jimmy Smith and remember the Jaguar, or the dude that posts on here.

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