This is going to seem just a tad bit hypocritical.
Two days ago, I posted my final mock draft of the season, and it prominently and proudly featured Jimmy Smith being selected with the Lions' top pick.
A few hours later, more detail came out about Smith's "character concerns" than he probably would have liked.
Two alcohol-related violations. Two abortions paid for by the families of women he impregnated. Third-degree assault at a restaurant. Three failed drug tests, one which he admitted was for codeine misuse.
You know who else got in trouble recently for codeine misuse? JaMarcus Russell.
Suddenly, this isn't a couple of youthful indiscretions in college. This is a serious, extended rap sheet against the guy with a history of bad behavior.
Sure, maybe he can play, but with this kind of demeanor, let the Bengals take him. It doesn't matter how good his coverage skills are if he's going to spend the majority of his career suspended.
Allow me to draw a parallel, a better one than Russell. Does anyone recall a young man by the name of Adam "Pacman" Jones?
Jones was talented. Immensely so. He was a budding star at cornerback with a penchant for making plays on the ball (and often going the other way with them). He plugged in as a good kick returner, as well. He could have been (and since he's 28 and playing for the Bengals, could still be) a great talent at cornerback.
Except that while Jones was good at football, he was better at finding trouble for himself, usually at a strip club somewhere.
That trouble, which forced a year's suspension and seemed to follow him in an almost constant flood, forced the Tennessee Titans to give up and separate themselves from him.
He landed in Dallas, where he famously got in a fight with his own bodyguard (the one assigned to him by Jerry Jones to keep him out of trouble, no less), which earned him yet another suspension.
The rest of Jones' career is in question, but there's no doubt he didn't pan out for the team that drafted him.
Smith has already gotten in trouble for some of the things that haunted Jones (the assault is already on the rap sheet), and the rest don't seem to be far behind.
If Smith is audacious enough to impregnate two women and order abortions for both of them (and not even pay for them), why would he be morally opposed to hanging out at a strip club? And with drug and alcohol violations under his belt already, who knows what kind of trouble he could get into there?
I know that certain things are blown out of proportion in the days leading up to the draft. But I also know that NFL players bust every single year because of character issues that should have been more closely examined.
Martin Mayhew has done a fantastic job of building this Lions team up from nothing. His top picks in the last two years have become the face of the franchise and the defensive rookie of the year.
He doesn't need to follow up those performances by giving us a reboot of Charles Rogers.
Or worse, a new Reggie Rogers.
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