Could a CB be Seattle’s first-round pick?

Published on March 23, 2011 by     Sports Press Northwest (Feed)

According to Tony Pauline of SI.com and TFY Draft Preview, the Seahawks have Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith very high on their draft board. We hear these kinds of rumors all the time, and most of them should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, but Pauline is pretty dialed in. While other teams have removed Smith from their boards for character concerns, Pauline writes that Seattle has Smith ranked highly enough to consider taking him in the first round.

The Seahawks currently have the 25th overall pick, which would take them out of the running for the two elite cornerbacks in this draft class, Patrick Peterson of LSU and Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara. And below Smith, there are a few potential starters who might be grabbed in the second round like Miami’s Brandon Harris, Aaron Williams of Texas (who may project better as a free safety), Texas’ Curtis Brown, and UCLA safety Rahim Moore, who this writer believes could be one of the NFL’s best nickel cornerbacks in the right system.

But if the Seahawks want a first-round talent at the cornerback position, and they’re willing to take the character gamble to get a bargain with the 25th overall pick, Smith would be a very intriguing option for a pass defense that finished 29th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings, allowed 7.2 yards per passing attempt, intercepted just 12 passes (tied for fourth-lowest in the league), gave up 31 touchdowns (tied for second-worst in the league), and 60 passes of 20 yards or more (only Denver was worse). With Marcus Trufant getting up there in age and Kelly Jennings still a question mark, it wouldn’t be surprising if Pete Carroll and John Schneider considered the cornerback position to be just as important on their first-round board as any other.

In 47 games for the Buffaloes, Smith put up three interceptions, 18 passes defensed, 164 tackles (129 solo), and three tackles for loss. As is the case with many elite cornerbacks (think of it as the “Nnamdi Asomugha Rule”), stats don’t always reflect performance on the field — the best pass defenders aren’t often targeted enough to put up wild numbers. What does the tape tell us?

Pros: Tall, angular build (6-foot-2, 205 pounds), and he has good trail speed and agility in space. In press man coverage, Smith locks on well from the snap with a jolt within 5 yards and the ability to tightly follow different routes. Takes slants and crosses well and doesn’t lose ground. Comes down hard on screen and swing passes to tackle and doesn’t get misdirected.

Good eye for sitting in zones and sensing where passes are going based on route concepts. A willing and physical tackler when he’s not blocked out of a play, and he’s very quick to diagnose run when he’s playing off-man or off-zone. Has the recovery speed and diagnostic skill to jump comeback routes. Boxes wideouts in well on nickel sets and has a good sense of what’s going around him in zones.

Cons: Not always an accurate tackler when bouncing off blocks, takes on blocks with a high-stance and can be “out-leveraged” fairly easily. His eagerness to play the run can lead to a tendency to bite on playfakes. Misses interception opportunities by batting the ball away at times. Can be a bit stiff in hip turn in shorter routes, but that’s typical of taller cornerbacks and it isn’t an enormous issue in his case.

Conclusion: Smith has been behind two big names at his position through the pre-draft process — LSU’s Patrick Peterson and Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara. He’s kind of the middleman in that equation — not yet a true potential NFL shutdown corner prospect like Peterson, nor an interesting hybrid player who may project better to safety like Amukamara. As a result, Smith’s is a name you’ll be hearing more and more as draft analysts catch up to him from a tape-watching perspective, but scouts and teams certainly know what he’s capable of. A strong combine performance may bump him up a little bit, but he’s a very safe mid-first-round draft pick for any NFL team needing a bigger cornerback who can play man and zone and tackle well. Spreads out well against motion from run support to wide coverage.

The Cromartie comparison speaks to Smith’s height, weight, and basic athletic skill set, but he seems to be less boom-and-bust — we’ll just have to see if he can take that to the NFL (picking up a few more interceptions along the way). If he can do that, Jimmy Smith could wind up as one of the best first-round values of the 2011 draft.

NFL Comparison: Antonio Cromartie, New York Jets

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers fullback Will Tukuafu (48) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Will Tukuafu Seahawks’ new Fullback, 285-pound force

Marshawn Lynch may soon have a huge, new plow in front of him in the Seahawks’ backfield. How huge? ...
141029daily660

Winless team? Rookie QB? Seahawks have been here before

Their record might indicate that the Oakland Raiders are the worst team in the NFL. But the video ...
tempRM8_4275-2--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

Pete Carroll, almost scoffing: No, Seahawks aren’t trading Marshawn Lynch

No, the Seahawks aren’t trading Marshawn Lynch. No, we don’t hate him or think he’s useless. No, you can’t believe ...
tempRM5_2099-2--nfl_mezz_1280_1024

A lot of defense and just enough offense delivers big win

A whole lot of defense and just enough offense at just the right time. For the third consecutive season, ...
percy_harvin_jets_usatsi

Russell Wilson: ‘Percy and I never had differences

In the six days since the Seahawks unceremoniously dumped Percy Harvin on the Jets for a conditional sixth-round ...
wilson-entourage

Russell Wilson isn’t “Black Enough,” Seahawks Players Allegedly Say

After Percy Harvin was traded to the Jets, the leaks began almost immediately. Harvin physically fought teammates. Harvin ...
hi-res-c36ccb423dec27409ba5c600d9a89b53_crop_exact

Seahawks say they are far from buried

Here’s something to help the morning coffee go down more smoothly: Sure, these aren’t the same Seahawks who blew ...
Oct 19, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs the ball for a touchdown during the second half of a football game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams won 28-26.  Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Wilson is first player in NFL history to have 300/100 game

Peyton Manning wasn't the only NFL quarterback who made history in Week 7, so did Russell Wilson.In the ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com
 

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz