Jimmy Smith tape & where to find it

January 12th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

If you want to watch game tape on some of the top prospects available in the 2011 NFL Draft, I’d strongly recommend adding Aaron Aloysius’ YouTube page to your favorites list.

Aaron writes for the equally recommended Draft Breakdown website. He’s compiled footage of a number of prospects in individual games – and he doesn’t edit out the bad bits either.

I’ve added Aaron’s tape of Jimmy Smith vs Oklahoma below. The Sooners offense is a production machine through the air so it’s an interesting match-up. Personally, I think Smith is a top-10 talent coming out of Colorado. In the footage you can see his ability to stick with the receiver in man but also flash an incredible closing burst when in zone. He’s a sure tackler – but needs to improve shedding blocks.

There’s one particularly telling play where he jams star receiver Ryan Broyles at the POA forcing an in-completion.

There aren’t many prospects I rate higher than Smith. I don’t like to make outrageous comparisons to NFL stars but he’s certainly got a similar skill set and size/speed combo to Nnamdi Asomugha. I don’t say that lightly but certainly I think the potential is there for Smith to become one of the top NFL cornerbacks.

I suspect he will run a very quick forty yard dash at the combine which could propel his stock way up the board. Just an exciting player to watch and one that I think could be set for big things.

36 Responses to “Jimmy Smith tape & where to find it”

  1. Matt says:

    Supposedly runs in the 4.3s per the Colorado Football website. That’s incredible at his size.

    • Rob says:

      He looks like a 4.3 runner on tape too so the game speed should match the straight line speed. Cannot rate this guy’s potential enough and feel he’s being seriously under rated by many.

      • Matt says:

        Completely agree. Obviously scouting is very in depth, but who knows, maybe he slips through the cracks. Some of the big time national scouting guys (I respect) seem to be underrating him big time. I guess we can all hope that Jimmy Smith or Locker somehow slip to the late teens and we at least have the ability to make a tiny jump up without sacrificing a ton of picks. Although personally speaking, I’d have no issue losing our 1st and 2nd rounder to get either Smith or Locker. 2 crucial needs on the Hawks, and 2 guys I think will end up being very good pros.

        On a side note, Jimmy Smith was a very lowly rated high school prospect. To me, that speaks volume about work ethic and coachability (as he is a California kid who is not hidden away in some lowly recruited state/area).

  2. Turp says:

    He looks really good; I really liked his tackling ability in the above video. If he’s that fast why is he not being hyped more; because CO wasn’t very good? After seeing you consistently rate him highly in the mocks it was nice to get a more in depth piece on him – thanks Rob.

    • Rob says:

      Certainly playing at Colorado has kept him under the radar. I know there are others that rate him as highly as I do – but the high profile sites haven’t really covered him at all – in a negative or positive way. With a lot of prospects opting to stay in school (Blackmon will finally make his announcement today) it should help prospects like Smith even more. Would love to see him in Seahawks blue. There aren’t many prospects that I would trade up for not playing the QB position, but Smith is in that category. Nnamdi Asomugha lasted until the late first round so I can only hope the same happens with Smith. I will keep him in that top 10-15 range in the mocks because that’s where I think his stock should rise to post-combine and where I think he deserves to go. I may end up being wrong on that – but I’m confident I won’t be wrong in projecting that wherever he goes in the draft – he has the potential to be a star.

  3. Lawrence says:

    he’s not bad! but look’n at this from a coaching point of view, I’ve been coaching for 6 years as a def-coordinator at the middle school and high school lvl’s. and the one thing that he will have to learn esp at the NFL lvl is to get much lower on his tackling approach. he tackles way to high in the open field, other than that I’d have to see more film on him to truly evaluate him more.

    • Matt says:

      With his coverage ability, I’d gladly sacrifice in run support.

      • ChavaC says:

        Is there a good video of his coverage available? It seemed like this was pretty much all him playing 10 yards off and tackling screens or soaking up blockers.

        I agree he does look like he’s tackling high. Also saw him quit on a play and a borderline PI . Maybe it’s simply because they avoided him, but I don’t see elite quickness, speed (and everything I’ve read says about mid 4.4, which isn’t bad but def not a 4.3) or coverage and definitely nothing to warrant being a top 10 prospect.

        • Rob says:

          I think there’s examples here of his ability in coverage – but that’s every play that Smith was involved in during the particular game. It speaks volumes that Oklahoma respected him that much considering their prolific offense. When they did test him, how many times was he beaten? I’ve got the total at zero. The borderline PI was a great non-call considering he turned his head to the ball – just perfect tight coverage played well. His closing speed is exceptional and really flashed here – I expect him to run in the 4.3′s. Not sure how you can judge he is or isn’t a top ten pick based off that one clip to be fair.

          • ChavaC says:

            I dunno. Admittedly I haven’t watched any Colorado games, and I don’t mean to claim to know his play very well, but from the three games of him I could find on youtube he rubs me as maybe a fringe first round based on size and speed combination. How would you compare this game to the other 11 games? Did teams avoid him all season?

            I’ll admit he does look like a Carroll type CB though, and I could see us snatching him if he falls.

            • Rob says:

              I haven’t seen all eleven games but generally teams have avoided him. What stands out to me is his closing speed and reactions. He can stick by the fastest WR’s in man on a deep route and basically take that option way with safety help. When he’s asked to play zone, he’s got elecrtifying speed to close on the ball carrier and make the tackle. With Seattle using some pretty vanilla coverage schemes and standing off the WR’s, he’d be a perfect scheme fit in that regard. He’s got the height and build to compete with bigger receivers for the ball. I’m not sure what else really I’d want to see from a corner in terms of physical and athletic attributes. He’s a team leader with good character – so that isn’t a problem. The only thing I can pin on him really is he bites when a receiver makes a double move and he’s got a bit too close early on, but his recovery speed is good enough to make up for it and this is certainly something that can be coached out of him – a minor concern.

              I would honestly say that there’s virtually nothing between him and Peterson to be the top corner and I half fancy Smith to have the better career.

  4. Ralphy says:

    It’s official. Blackmon and Weeden are both staying in school. They should get a ton of national coverage next year as they play for a potential national championship. Nice call Rob!

  5. plyka says:

    This is the only film i’ve seen on this kid, but given the small sample size I am very impressed. He is great in coverage and looks like a natural out there. He has length and height, especially for a corner. His speed and burst looks good. He gets physical with WRs which is the best way to slow them down.

    The only negatives I saw was run stopping, but then again, he is a corner, what do you expect? I’m sure relative to other corners, he gets off blocks average and tackles above average. What I liked a lot about him is his willingness to stick his head in there. Usually corners are diva like.

    All in all, definitely a 1st round pick. If the Seahawks picked this guy up then i would be very happy. QB is our 1st priority, but CB is the 2nd. The key to a great defense is CBs I think. If you have great CBs then the rest of the defense starts out at a huge advantage. CB is the 2nd most important position on the field in my opinion.

  6. Turp says:

    Rob – with all of the announcements of players returning to college for another year (luck, criner, blackmon, floyd, broyles, polk, jenkins, etc) does that make next year’s draft a lot stronger than this year’s? If so, will that put the Hawks in a better position for the draft, since we will have more picks in 2012 than 2011 (unless lots more trading happens)?

    • Ralphy says:

      And does it make it a great draft to try what they did two years ago and trade a second rounder this year for a teams first rounder next year?

      • Alex says:

        I would actually seriously consider this. In the long run, the second rounder we gave up in 09 which turned into an Earl Thomas in 10 was well worth the delay. With all the talent that is being diverted into the 12 draft, getting an extra 1st rounder could be well worth it. The only issue is that our 2nd rounder is a low 2nd round pick, so that’s harder to sell whereas the 2nd round pick in 09 was the #4 2nd round pick (I think).

        Alex

      • Rob says:

        Deals like that are rare. I’m still stunned that Denver pulled that move – especially for a prospect they gave up on 12 months later. It was completely careless on their behalf and Seattle won the lottery that day. The fact the Seahawks are picking in the late second round makes it very unlikely. Let’s not forget how high they were picking in R2 in 2009. Nobody is going to cough a 2012 first rounder for a R2 in the 25-32 range.

    • Rob says:

      I’m not convinced it makes next year’s draft stronger. When you look at the prospects who could be available in 2012 – it’s not a particularly exciting class unless we see some big movers during the season. Luck will be the headliner alongside possibly Matt Barkley if he favored declaring. Floyd is a third rounder at best at this point and Broyles likewise is nothing special. Jenkins I’m a big fan of but not sure what he has to gain by going back to Florida. Criner and Blackmon were in that 20-32 range and I don’t see them progressing much further on that.

      • Turp says:

        Darn, there goes my silver lining for the draft :p. It seems unlikely that we will be drafting a QB at 25+ and this is a great draft for CB’s.

      • plyka says:

        Barkley is the best prospect i’ve seen at QB in a long, long time. I think he will be just as good as Luck, despite all this “Luck is a once in a g eneration talent” that the “experts” spout.

        Barkley is an absolute stud, even as a true softmore this year he was the only bright spot on USC.

        • Alex says:

          Barkley is what you call a prodigy in QBing. He was head and shoulders above everyone at the high school level and at college, I consider him the best at reading of all the QBs in college RIGHT now.
          He has an above average NFL arm.
          He has decent accuracy.
          He has good touch.
          Great mechanics and footwork.
          Amazing reading ability.
          Ok mobility, not as good as Locker or Luck.
          Leadership wise though, he’s good, not great.
          Character- nothing wrong. He works hard, though not necessary at the Peyton level (then again, who does?).

          That said, I don’t think he’ll come out until the 2013 draft because he probably wants another shot at a Bowl game. He’s the #1 lock though.

          Alex

  7. Alex says:

    Just passing some information along in the Don Banks SI article on 2011 QBs.

    Mike Mayock said that Locker is better outside the pocket and throws amazingly accurate on the run. He also said that the biggest weakness that happens to affect his accuracy is pocket awareness.

    As a commentary, I have to wonder how much that awareness problem deals with the fact that the O Line breaks down so often that there rarely are pockets.

    Outside of Mayock, a few scouts were interviewed. Gabbert=top QB of class.

    As for Newton, if this is true, it is quite concerning.
    A scout said this, “What I’ve heard from some people is that Cam doesn’t like to work on some of the stuff that a quarterback has to work on. Someone who knows him told me the only difference between Cam and JaMarcus Russell is that Cam has Cecil [his father] to keep him on track. But that’s potentially a big difference.”

    • Rob says:

      My big concern on Newton is that I imagine it’s been very easy for him in college. His talent is so high that he won’t need to put in the hours a guy like Andrew Luck probably does. That won’t count at the next level. I’ve always said that meetings will define his stock. If he can convince one team that he’ll be the ‘last out of the building’ type then he goes early. But it’s also a particularly vague description on what this alleged issue is. I think teams will be kidding themselves if they expect Newton to be Peyton Manning behind the scenes. What you really want is a guy that can win like Vince Young has in the league – without that instant potenial to explode into chaos off the field.

  8. Charlie says:

    Rob, what are your thoughts on the development of Earl Thomas, and also Aaron Curry?

    • Charlie says:

      And walter thurmond as well!

    • Rob says:

      I’m a big Earl Thomas fan. I think there’s more to come from him as he gets older and more experienced. He’s a playmaker in the secondary and increasingly you need that type of guy in the modern NFL. He’s just going to keep improving. Thurmond is raw – I think he’s been generally impressive considering the difficulty of playing corner as a rookie – and he’s come off a serious injury too. He did a great job against Fitzgerald at Qwest and that was the defining point of his season for me. Curry is doing a good job generally. People expect so much because of the high pick and the price in terms of salary. To justify going 4th overall he would’ve had to offer a pass rush quality we never saw in college (9 sacks in four years) or be dominating in coverage – something he hasn’t been able to do either. The Seahawks shouldn’t have used the pick on Curry – said it at the time and maintain that now. However, you can’t go back in time and change that. The performance the team is getting from Curry is acceptable for a 2nd year linebacker with his skillset. If people accept that, then he’s doing fine. If we’re going to always judge him based on the high price – then it’s close to a bust. If the Seahawks had drafted Curry at a reduced price with – for example – the 18th overall pick – I think more people would be pleased with what he’s brought to the table.

      • Charlie says:

        I agree on curry, id just like to see him play more mistake-free football, and not get over-excited about little plays, that bugs me sometimes. i’d like to see him be a successful hawk and stay with us, but given the unpredictable moves by Carrol and schneider, and with curry being from the old regime, they would try and offer him in a trade on draft day to move up?

        • Rob says:

          Due to his contract it’s almost impossible to trade Curry. His value is virtually zero the same way that Houshmandzadeh’s was. Teams would take him for sure, but on their terms not what Seattle agreed post-draft. Nobody will take on that contract.

          • Ralphy says:

            What about to the Texans for Mario Williams? With them switching to the 3-4 he appears to not have a great spot. Perfect trade for both teams?

          • Alex says:

            @Ralphy

            As someone who follows the Texans, it would seem that Wade Phillips is confident that Mario Williams can work for them. Even though Phillips plays a 3-4, it still has the nature of gaps. Evidently, it worked for Bruce Smith and it should work for Mario Williams. That’s what I’m hearing so far.

            And even if they’re trading him, yeah, it’s going to be expensive since he is right up there with Julius Peppers as a premier DE. It’s probably at a price that the Seahawks probably can’t afford.

            Alex

  9. Matt says:

    Hey Rob,

    What are your thoughts on pursuing Alan Branch as Red Bryant role depth? He’s massive and moves relatively well fora big guy. He’s only 26 and to my knowledge is FA this year?

    • Rob says:

      I think that would be a move worth considering. Branch hasn’t lived up to his draft pick so far, but he fits the bill in terms of what they want at that position. A very good suggestion and one to watch.

      • Matt says:

        Just seems like a guy who could be nice depth and is still young.

        On another note, where do you see Jurell Casey being drafted? I can’t help but see Brandon Mebane everytime I watched him play. Same exact build and similar play style.

        If he’s a second round guy, I can’t help but think of what a huge offseason for the defense would be if you got Casey and Branch, which only costed you a 2nd rounder. To me, that depth would be invaluable.

        What would be nice (and I think they have set themselves up this way), is if it would be nice to address the defense in FA (Joseph, Branch, maybe Whitner), allowing us to go BPA in the 2011 draft or being able to trade up and get who we want.

        How would you like to see the offseason play out?

        • Rob says:

          I think everything will depend on when a CBA is agreed. There’s a very real possibility that we won’t have a free agency before the draft and that will impact things. If the team isn’t able to fill any holes before April – it’s hard to project what they might be thinking. I think I’m right in saying they’d like to build through the draft, I don’t think we’ll see many big money arrivals. That’s not what Green Bay have done (JS) and while they will surely look to fill some holes with the elite talent potentiall available on the market – I’m not sure they’ll revert to the Ruskell esque approach of filling holes with a big splash.

  10. 1sthill says:

    I scouted Jimmy Smith earlier in the year when Colorado played Hawaii and was very impressed with him; so much so that back in early October I thought he could be an option for us in the 1st round. Smith played a lot of man press game vs Hawaii. He was great in man coverage, looked smooth when flipping his hips, and he was able to mirror his guy down field. He did drop a ball that would have been an interception, so the knock on him might be his hands (only 3 interceptions in 4 years). I look forward to seeing more coverage of him once the Senior Bowl or East/West Shrine game and NFL combine get here.