Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith is on the short list of the most talented players in this year’s NFL draft. But he’ll likely have to wait at least a few hours to hear his name called tonight.
The reason is that NFL teams have major questions about Smith’s character, and those questions include the abuse of drugs, specifically codeine.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Smith flunked three drug tests at Colorado, and he told at least one club that one of the three was for misusing codeine.
Codeine may be a particular red flag for NFL teams right now. The Raiders want to trade up into the first round and were once thought to be interested in moving up for Smith, but the latest reports out of the Bay Area indicate that the Raiders aren’t going to take a chance on a guy with a codeine issue so soon after the JaMarcus Russell debacle.
Smith’s character problems (which also reportedly include issues with alcohol, getting women pregnant and an arrest for assault) are so voluminous that a survey of 24 personnel executives found 11 of them wouldn’t even take him in the second round, let alone the first.
Still, it only takes one team to like Smith enough to take him in the first round. And no one doubts his talent.