Daily Caw: The Maturation of Ravens’ Cornerback Jimmy Smith

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Dec 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) warms up prior to the game against the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Daily Caw, where we round up all the latest Baltimore Ravens news from around the web.  Today we look at the growth and maturation of cornerback Jimmy Smith, more people jump on the Timmy Jernigan hype train, the Ravens trend towards youth continues, and can the Ravens’ run defense maintain without Haloti Ngata?

Jimmy Smith growing on and off fieldTony Lombardi, Russell Street Report

"The Ravens did their research and they were confident that Smith’s immature transgressions were a thing of the past. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti reminisced recently about the selection of Smith and the exaggerated character concerns.“I remember reading about the wife of the Colorado coach [Dan Hawkins] being quoted as saying that when she heard [about the off-field issues of Jimmy Smith] that she was crying and saying that they cannot be talking about Jimmy. So I thought, ok, who knows better than a coach’s wife? It speaks volumes.”"

Making the leap: Timmy JerniganKevin Patra, NFL.com

"Ozzie Newsome is a genius.The above statement could be sufficient for Jernigan to make our list. The Ravens GM saw enough in the rookie down the stretch last season that he was comfortable trading Haloti Ngata to the Detroit Lions for draft picks."

Can Ravens’ run defense be strong minus Ngata?Ray Frager, CSN Baltimore

"Haloti Ngata, a rock in the interior of the Ravens defensive line for nine seasons, is gone to the Detroit Lions. Can the team still put up a formidable front against opposing rushing attacks? The question was put to ESPN.com’s AFC North correspondents.Jeremy Fowler, who covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, answers in the affirmative, citing tackle Brandon Williams, who already has proven himself a capable run disrupter. Williams was ranked among the NFL’s top 10 at his position in stopping the run in a couple of measures by Pro Football Focus, and he may find himself being used on first, second and third downs with Ngata’s departure."

Ravens have been trending younger, but will that continue in 2015?Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

"Will they be even younger this year after bringing in a nine-man draft class and signing a boatload of college free agents?It’s hard to tell now. Calculating a team’s average age when there are 90 players on the roster – and in the Ravens’ case, 25 rookies – is pointless. Most of the rookie free agents won’t make the regular-season roster and the Ravens could still add or release some veterans."

Next: Zach Orr: 2015 Super Sleeper?

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