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I will admit that I was not on the bandwagon at all to take Jimmy Smith, period. I was concerned about his "character issues" as much as anyone else reading what the press had to say about him.
I've changed my mind.
Why? Because Smith has been under the microscope since the day he became eligible for the draft.
The media likes to play favorites as much as they love to throw draft prospects under the bus. It is due to all of the negative press that I have come to appreciate Smith. He's as human as you get. His life has been exposed and his character put to the test.
Smith was invited to come to Detroit so the coaches could get some of their own questions about his past behaviors answered. They too want to know how much of a liability or asset Smith would be.
I have Detroit taking Smith in the first round if they don't get Amukamara (they may trade down to get a better value on him).
If anyone thinks other players coming into the draft have never done anything in their past that could haunt them, they must live in a world that I haven't seen.
What is important to know about Smith is that he has kept his nose clean for the last three years.
Is he a risk? Sure, just like everyone else.
Are there players on the Detroit Lions team who could be positive mentors for Smith and help him continue to mature? Without a doubt in my mind.
This kid (bear in mind that he is just a kid) has incredible skills that would upgrade the secondary the moment he stepped on the field.
As much as the media has spent time on his "flaws" what gets overlooked is where he is now. At least he is forthcoming about his past mistakes. He knows everyone will be watching him and wondering if he will fail. He has probably dealt with this most of his adult life and yet he keeps moving forward.
He has been likened to two players in the NFL: Nnamdi Asomugha and Aqib Talib. Which one could he become more permanently linked to?
I submit that it comes down to a story widely known in the Cherokee Native American community. *
The legend told is about two wolves living inside of the grandfather telling the story to his grandson. The one wolf represents thoughts and actions that could destroy him. The other wolf represents the good in him. The grandson asks which wolf will win this battle. The grandfather says simply, "the one I feed."
The moral of the story is that Jimmy Smith will become whichever Jimmy Smith he chooses to become. With support and guidance he could be the next great shutdown corner in the NFL.
I believe that he can and will get this kind of support (that one that feeds the second wolf) in Detroit.
* I share this legend with great respect for the Cherokee Nation.