2011 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

As we continue our series of 2011 NFL Draft prospect profiles let's go in a slightly different direction. In one of the mock drafts I referenced Friday in a piece for SB Nation New York, CBS Sports draft expert Chad Reuter mocked Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith to the New York Giants.

That is an intriguing thought. Let's be honest, most of us love Terrell Thomas and we think Aaron Ross is a better player than he showed in 2010 but in today's NFL you have to have big-time cornerbacks -- several of them -- to have a big-time defense, and you can make a good argument that an upgrade is in order.

SB Nation's Mocking The Draft says "With his combination of coverage ability and size, Smith should get taken in the first 20 selections."

Considering that the Giants select 19th in the first round that might put Smith on General Manager Jerry Reese's radar.

Scouting reports after the jump.

Jimmy Smith
CB, Colorado
6-foot-2, 205 pounds
Projection: Round 1

Scouting Reports

From CBS Sports:

Man Coverage: Physical press corner. Not afraid to extend his hand (usually his left) at the line of scrimmage to keep receivers from getting into his route. Maintains contact throughout the five-yard area. Lined up against opponents' biggest receiver, playing outside and in the slot. ... Fast enough to stop quick screens behind the line when playing off. His hands for the interception are improving, but work needs to be done. Needs to tighten up his footwork when transitioning from pedal to plant-and-drive.

Zone Coverage: Good awareness in zone coverage. Comes off receivers leaving his area to pick up underneath routes. Stays between two receivers on the outside if he sees his safety help has been taken away by seam routes, but will end up in no man's land occasionally not trusting over-the-top help. Attacks receivers in front of him. Size makes him difficult to for receivers to avoid after the catch. His height and vertical make throwing over him and in front of safeties perilous.

Closing/Recovery: Combines speed with length to close on the ball. Good recovery speed for his size, can flip his hips and wrap up receivers in trail coverage. His height and ability to find the ball in the air prevent quarterbacks from challenging over the top. Undercuts crossing routes by closing hard and extending; also takes chances NFL quarterbacks can exploit.

Run Support: Owns prototypical size to be a run stopper on the edge. Effective as a wrap-up or cut tackler.

Tackling: Physical tackler with NFL size and excellent length to wrap, but must get more consistent in the open field. Able to knock away passes and force fumbles while he wraps up receivers.

From Draft Countdown:

Strengths:
- Terrific height and bulk with long arms and big hands
- Extremely athletic with excellent timed speed
- Displays solid instincts / awareness in coverage
- Physical and gets an outstanding jam at the line
- Pretty good hands, ball skills and body control
- A reliable tackler who willingly supports the run


Weaknesses:
- Doesn't play quite as fast as he runs in shorts
- Not explosive, lacking a burst to recover and close
- Will need to polish technique and footwork
- Will gamble and is too aggressive at times

Overall:
Allowed just 11 completions combined as a junior and senior, with opponents routinely shying away from his side of the field --- Would fit best in a scheme where he can play a lot of press coverage --- A Workout Warrior who looks like a first round pick on paper but doesn't always play up to those impressive triangle numbers --- Certainly has the potential to be a starter at the next level but will likely be selected earlier than the tape would indicate due to that tantalizing blend of Height / Weight / Speed.

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