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2011 NFL Draft: Predicting the Seattle Seahawks' #25 Pick

The debate rages on as to whether he'll fall to #25, but with Aqib Talib at the forefront of many GM's minds, I believe there's a good chance character concerns will lead teams to pass on Jimmy Smith and he'll subsequently fall into the later end of the first round. The more I look around, and this could mean a lot or nothing at all, the draft experts 'consensus' have Smith's stock anywhere from around #22 to #26, with some outliers pointing to as high as #13 to the Lions and as low as into the early 2nd round. He's a fairly polarizing prospect, and it's extremely difficult to say how far he might fall due to the concerns around him. However, if he makes it past teams like the Colts, Eagles, and Saints - teams that I think could go in a multitude of directions, I believe the Seahawks will select CB Jimmy Smith out of Colorado.

Smith would provide the Hawks with the potential shutdown corner they haven't had in years. Low end potential: - Trufant in his top form circa 2007 might be the closest proxy to what you could expect. High end - you're looking at a potential Nnamdi Asomugha caliber player. At Colorado, only 11 passes were completed to the receivers he was marking in man-to-man coverage over the last two years. That number is unbelievable, and if he is able to keep his head on straight he has the potential to become an All-Pro cornerback. At 6'2, 211 and blazing 4.37 speed, he has the quickness, size, and physicality to keep up with or outmatch the top receivers in the NFC West, and if he lives up to his billing, would give the Hawks the ability to essentially shut down one side of the field to opposing teams' passing games.

That type of production would do wonders for a team with one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL and would take a lot of the pressure off the defensive line and linebacking corps to reach the QB quickly. With a smaller field to work with and a new respect for the defensive secondary (Smith in collaboration with Earl Thomas, Trufant, and Walter Thurmond), opposing teams' offensive options would be stifled, giving the Hawks an edge in it's ability to creatively blitz and rush the QB. Not only that, but Smith projects to be a solid corner in run support, giving the Hawks another great resource on defense.

The first question that many of you will ask is, "what about a quarterback?" I just have a hunch at this point in time that the QB visits and information leaks are all smokescreens. Not working off of any real information, but I just feel that the Hawks aren't sold on any QBs at this point, and won't give up a great deal of draft capital to move up to select Ryan Mallett or Jake Locker, players that aren't likely to get past Tennessee, Washington, Minnesota, Miami or Jacksonville in my humble opinion. This means the Seahawks will rely on free-agency or trades once the draft is over, or stick with Charlie Whitehurst and possibly re-sign Matt Hasselbeck for another year or two.

The major question of course involves Jimmy Smith's prior troubles with the law and Pete Carroll and John Schneider have a track record of taking a chance on risky players. They'd jump at the chance to take a risk on a player with as high a ceiling as Smith, and as of right now, only a few hours away from the draft, this is what I predict will happen. I'm sure I'll be wrong.

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