Colorado CB Jimmy Smith visits the Ravens

OWINGS MILLS -- Imposing University of Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith took an official visit to the Baltimore Ravens' training complex. The enigmatic 6-foot-2, 211-pounder has been linked to the Ravens' 26th overall pick in mock drafts. Smith has a history of failed drug tests and an underage possession of alcohol arrest

"If Jimmy Smith's there,you're getting a top 10 to 15 talent," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said. "Let's put it that way, in the later portion of round one. "He's a kid with great physical ability. They wanted to see what his workout numbers would be and certainly verified that." Kiper also linked Smith to the Ravens in one of his mock drafts, writing:"The Ravens notably didn't take a cornerback with any of their picks in 2010, and while I had them picking another corner in this spot in a previous mock, Smith has proven that he has all the physical tools. With the Ravens leadership on defense in the form of Ray Lewis, he has a chance to be a steal if his attitude matches his skill-set. A burner with shutdown skills, good ball awareness and elite size for the position, he adds immediate depth with the chance to start early." In a strong effort at the NFL scouting combine, Smith bench pressed 225 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds. Smith intercepted three passes at Colorado, but was generally avoided by quarterbacks as they preferred to throw in the direction of Jalil Brown.

"He had a good career there," Kiper said. "I think two years ago he only allowed eight completions in man coverage and, obviously the two corners at Colorado were very, very good." NFL teams are intrigued by Smith's package of size, speed and cover skills as they look for a potential shutdown cornerback. And those same teams are naturally concerned about his character.

"I know they're going to ask me about everything I've done," Smith said at the combine. "I'm ready and prepared to answer all the questions.' I've told them I'm a great person. I was a young player who made young mistakes. But I grew as a person.

"Just going in that room and being honest, that's all I can control. Like I said I went to college and I made some mistakes. All of the issues I'm talking to the teams about are not issues that really need to be out there.'' As a true freshman, Smith got caught with alcohol during training camp.

"I walked outside with a red cup that had nothing in it and you can't have a red cup in Boulder," Smith said. "So, I got caught for that. It was a lack of judgment.''

Smith was avoided by quarterbacks last season, intercepting no passes as they rarely threw the football in his direction.

"Sometimes they avoided me in the pass game, sometimes it got a little boring," Smith said. "I had one opportunity for an interception, a one-handed interception, I dropped it.

"After that I had like three passes thrown my way for the rest of the season. I definitely take that as a compliment. I mean, they didn't throw my way ever. They respected me.''

The Ravens were undoubtedly one of the 28 teams that met with Smith at the NFL scouting combine. "I'm a big, athletic, physical corner, I love to press, I have great speed, great size, great ball skills," Smith said. "I'm a shutdown corner.'' Smith has drawn comparisons to Oakland Raiders star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

"I like the comparison a lot," Smith said. "I think I have better ball skills than he does, though.''

Smith is roughly the same size as former Ravens Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister. Like McAlister, he has off-field issues that cloud whether he'll be drafted high in the first round or available for selection later in the first round.

"I feel like the sky is the limit for me as long as I do what I know I can do out there," Smith said. "The interviews are big for me.''

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