2011 NFL Draft: Why Jimmy Smith Is Perfect for Eagles in the First Round

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIApril 7, 2011

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 07:  Wide receiver Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies makes a reception against the defense of Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes during NCAA college football action at Folsom Field on November 7, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado. Colorado defeated Texas A&M 35-34.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

One of the Philadelphie Eagles' greatest needs in the offseason is upgrading the right cornerback position opposite of star Asante Samuel.

At 23rd overall in the first round, the Eagles will most likely miss out on elite talents like Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara, unless we see a trade up.

The Eagles though will probably have a chance to draft corner Jimmy Smith from Colorado at 23.

Smith could be drafted as high as 11 or fall to the end of the first round; his mystery draft position is because of his character concerns, which I think are being blown out of proportion

His three incidents with law occurred during his two years on campus, with nothing coming after that.

As a true freshman, Smith got caught with alcohol during training camp.

"I walked outside with a red cup that had nothing in it and you can't have a red cup in Boulder," Smith said. "So, I got caught for that. It was a lack of judgment.'' Boulder is known to be a big party town, where it is easy to get caught.

On the positive test for marijuana his freshman year at Colorado, Smith said: "I was just young and dumb, like any other college student at the time. All I can do is be honest."

Smith also was charged with minor in possession charges.

This just looks to be a young, immature kid who made some dumb decisions his first two years in college. Smith though has never been arrested or suspended for any of his crimes.

Smith has been clean for the past two years and has finally showed his maturity. He graduated from Colorado and attended class their for four years.

A team like the Eagles can afford to take a player like Smith with "character concerns" because of their strong locker room and leadership on the team.

The Eagles are never afraid to take chances on players with questionable backgrounds, just look at their quarterback Michael Vick.

In last year's draft, the Eagles drafted mainly high-character guys, allowing them to take a player who will scare off teams because of his concerns. 

With a strong group of players around Smith, he could stay away from any troublesome situations.

Smith may come off as cocky during his interviews, but corners with confidence are usually the ones that succeed in the league.

Teams will find flaws with his character, but on the football field, Smith is immensely talented. He has the unique blend of size, speed, and cover skills, that many corners lack.  At 6'2'', 211 pounds, Smith ran in the 4.4s at the Combine.

With his size, Smith excels in pressuring the receiver at the line of scrimmage, including press coverage. Because of his long arms, Smith can jam receivers and change their timing. His closing speed is elite and he can stay with any receiver in the league. Smith can read and react and his instincts are very solid.

He was one of the least targeted defenders in College Football last year, targeted under 30 times, which would explain the lack of impressive statistics. He played wide receiver in high school and showed he had great hands.

The Eagles have even showed interest in Smith. He came in the NovaCare Complex for private workout. With such a large need at corner, Smith would make perfect sense to draft at 23 overall.

If teams are to scrutinize Smith, they should look at the football aspects of his game that are not there yet, his sometimes questionable football tackling or his stiff hips, but teams should look past his "character concerns."