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Jimmy Smith may struggle to overcome character concerns

Brian Lockridge, Jimmy Smith

Colorado black team cornerback Jimmy Smith, left, pulls down Colorado gold team tailback Brian Lockridge after a short gain during the spring scrimmage game in Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo., on Saturday, April 10, 2010. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Ryan Mallett wasn’t the only player that was forced to face questions about off-field concerns at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, who is a big-time talent, had to explain a positive drug test in 2007 and two arrests for possession of alcohol as a minor, according to the Denver Post.
“All of the issues I’m talking to the teams about are not issues that really need to be out there,” Smith told the media Sunday.

Tom Kowalski of believes the Lions won’t consider Smith at No. 13 overall because of the off-field concerns and says people around the league aren’t buying the positive spin about Smith’s newfound maturity.

Perhaps more damning is Kowalski’s suggestion that Smith’s “football character” faces questions too. NFL types don’t like that Smith skipped the Senior Bowl and hasn’t handled maturity questions head on.

Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes teams “think [Smith] might want to be a celebrity more than he wants to be a good NFL cornerback.”

Kowalski hints around the same problem.

“The Lions want players who have passion for the game and a laser-like focus on football, work ethic and teammate accountability,” Kowalski writes.

The inference is that Smith may not possess these traits. It’s why a top-15 talent may wind up falling deeper into the first round or beyond in April.