If you mention the name Jimmy Smith when talking about the 2011 NFL Draft, a debate is sure to erupt. He has been one of the most talked about potential picks because there are so many concerns about his character. Many believe Smith has the talent to be a high first-round pick, but character issues have dropped his stock in the minds of some people. With the Detroit Lions needing a cornerback and potentially looking to take one with the 13th overall pick, this debate has become one of the biggest draft topics on this site.
One person who doesn't think the character concerns with Smith are warranted at this point in time is Ashley Ambrose, his former defensive backs coach at Colorado. Obviously you should just take these comments for what they're worth given that Ambrose was Smith's position coach, but he thinks the Smith of now is different than the Smith that first arrived at Colorado.
"I never had a problem with Jimmy," Ambrose said. "When I said be at meetings, he was there 10 minutes early. That was the thing with Jimmy. Now, his freshman and sophomore year it would have been totally different. But if I said something then he'd adhere to it, and he was vocal with the other guys, he became a leader. A vocal leader."
Ambrose went on to commend Smith for being so coachable. He called Smith a "great kid," although he added this: "And everybody just wondered, 'Oh, how is he going to do if he gets money?' You never know. I can't answer that. Jimmy's his own person."