Jimmy Smith‘s issues off the field are typically viewed one of two ways, you’re either an optimist like me and you want to believe that since the last incident in 2007 he has turned a corner and is committed to being an elite NFL talent. Or you could be like Michael David Smith of PFT and assume he’s still rotten. Jimmy Smith was honest at the combine about his previous mistakes and off-the-field issues, including admitting to three failed drug tests (up from the reported two) including one for codeine abuse.
Smith’s character problems (which also reportedly include issues with alcohol, getting women pregnant and an arrest for assault) are so voluminous that a survey of 24 personnel executives found 11 of them wouldn’t even take him in the second round, let alone the first.
Smith’s issues off the field have split NFL GM’s in terms of who is willing to take a chance and who isn’t. As it was stated in a recent Rotoworld Report:
“He’s as athletically gifted as Asomugha,” an NFC personnel director said. “He’s got all the ability in the world. He also could be a supreme punk.” Don Gregory of the Panthers believes Smith will be a “shutdown corner” while the Ravens’ Eric DeCosta calls him an “elite corner.” One executive is convinced Smith is a “carbon copy of Aqib Talib,” right down to the behavioral problems. “Two abortions, aggravated assault, two minors in possession, three failed drug tests (including one for misusing codeine),” said the exec, “that’s a little excessive.”
That’s a lot of knocks on Smith coming out the morning of the draft, the reports originated in a Milwaukee paper up in Packers country, it would be interesting if this was all a big smoke screen in the hopes Smith falls to the Packers at 32. That’s probably not the case though. From my own research I was under the impression that Smith was rough around the edges but had turned a corner. To me, his honesty in regard to past indiscretions indicates a guy who is trying to move forward, why would he be honest about that stuff if he had intentions to continue doing it? Still, codeine is a serious drug and after JaMarcus Russell pretty much ruined his career on the stuff, a lot of teams see that as a huge red flag. The bit about him being a carbon copy of Talib is troubling too. It ‘s looking less and less likely Smith has any chance of ending up in Tampa.