Is Ravens’ Jimmy Smith the NFL’s best cornerback?


Dec 16, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) during the game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

When you ask most people who the best cornerbacks in the NFL are, you generally hear the same names – Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis, Patrick Peterson, etc.  But what about Jimmy Smith?  Perennially underrated, Smith missed out on his chance to finally finish his ascension to greatness in 2014 after a Lisfranc injury ended his season prematurely.

Rating cornerbacks isn’t as easy as say, quarterbacks or wide receivers.  The best often don’t even see the ball come their way, so it isn’t always about interceptions or tackles, or even passes defensed.  That’s why Draft Centric is working to come up with a better way to measure cornerback performance, and they call it Coverage Productivity.

The basic concept is to measure how effectively a cornerback covers every route that is run against them. How close are they to the intended receiver, and how well do they play the ball once it is in the air?  It also takes into account that a dropped pass or errant throw from the quarterback doesn’t let a corner off the hook if they’re beaten in coverage.

Once the film from the 2014 season was broken down and studied, guess what cornerback wound up with the the highest score?  That’s right, it was none other than Jimmy Smith.  It’s a fascinating and admittedly new and unproven method of tracking cornerback performance, but a promising one as well.

Here’s the entire list:

Does that make you feel better about the Ravens’ prospects for 2015?

Here’s the rest of the hottest Ravens news floating around the web.

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Next: Ravens final roster projection

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