Help in the Secondary for Jaguars

The Jaguars defense finished with the 24th overall ranking in pass defense a year ago, and although a great deal of the problems had to do with a lack of a pass rush, the secondary played poorly as well. Find out which player the Jags have shown plenty of interest in throughout the entire draft process that could be part of the solution.

Wake Forest cornerback Alphonso Smith may not be a giant on the football field, as he measures in at just 5'9", 193 lbs., but he could be the most skilled corner in this draft, and if you don't believe us, just ask Smith yourself.

"I'm number one, obviously," Smith said when asked where he ranks among the corners in the 2009 draft. "I think I'm the smartest corner in this draft. That's what the next level is about, and you need to be able to comprehend and understand defenses. I put myself at number one."

Smith can not only talk the talk, but he also walks the walk. The Wake Forest corner has excellent ball skills as referenced by his 13 pass breakups as a senior and six interceptions.

"When the ball is in the air, I never get uncomfortable," Smith told JagNation. "I just treat it as if I'm the receiver and not playing defense."

Many people try to knock Smith due to his short stature, but he believes that his 5'9" height won't be a weakness on the next level.

"I'm ready for the challenge," Smith said with his brash confidence. "With those tall guys, the only advantage they have is inside the 20-yard line. I've learned how to play the ball like I'm an offensive player and I have that advantage for 80 yards. When they get in the red zone, they have somewhat of an advantage due for the physical advantage, but I make up for it with my ball skills."

Alphonso Smith can be a true game-changer and a playmaker, something that not only the Jaguars, but every other NFL team can always use.

"Making plays is what it's all about," Smith said. "Making plays doesn't have anything to do with size or speed. If you look at Jerry Rice's class, he was one of the slowest out of all the receivers, but he was the most productive."

Alphonso Smith earned first team all-ACC honors as a senior, as he always seemed to come up with big plays whenever the Wake Forest defense needed them. Smith is currently projected as a first or early second-round pick, and he was the Jaguars pick in the Scout.com publishers mock draft.


Jags Illustrated Top Stories