Lions take a look at Jimmy Smith, projected first-round CB
Jimmy Smith flashes an Isiah Thomas like smile. The cornerback from Colorado oozes personality, but he carries off-field baggage and was well coached on what to say at the NFL Combine.
Smith, who is projected as a first-round pick in the NFL draft, reportedly (per Mlive.com) is meeting with the Lions today. He is one of 30 potential draftees they are allowed to bring to Detroit to get to know better.
Smiles and charisma are one thing, but expect Lions general manager Martin Mayhew to dig deep. Smith had some problems with the law -- involving drugs and alcohol -- early in his career at Colorado.
He explained it this way at the NFL Combine: “I got an MIP (minor in possession of alcohol) my true freshman year at training camp. I walked outside with a red cup that had nothing in it and you can't have a red cup in Boulder so I got caught for that. It was lack of judgment.’’
He didn’t dodge questions about his past at the Combine, he was prepared on how to handle the situation.
“Just going in that room and being honest, that’s all I can control. Like I said I went to college and I made some mistakes, but all of them were freshman and sophomore year, actually my redshirt freshman year, so two freshman years,’’ Smith said.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projects Smith as a late first-round pick. He has him rated as the third best cornerback in the draft after Patrick Peterson (LSU) and Prince Amukamara (Nebraska).
The Lions need a cornerback, but when they pick at No. 13 Peterson and Amukamara are expected to be gone. Kiper said Smith would be a reach at the 13th spot.
But if Mayhew, a former NFL cornerback, likes him then perhaps that could change. Smith is 6-2, 211 pounds, a good-sized corner.
“I have long arms so I don't have to be all the way in the hip pocket of the receiver. Sometimes I think the quarterback has to place the ball perfectly or I can get my hand in there,’’ Smith said.
The NFL draft is April 28-30, no matter what happens with the current negotiations.
(Follow me on Twitter @PaulaPasche.)