Jimmy Smith may not be the prominent player he once was for the Baltimore Ravens, but he will be one of its strongest leaders and contributors in 2020.
There was a good stretch of time where not only was Jimmy Smith the Baltimore Ravens top cornerback, but he was one of the most underappreciated at the position throughout the league. if not for an injury-marred career, perhaps his perception would be different.
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Entering 2020, Smith is at best the Ravens third cornerback on the depth chart pending the health of Tavon Young. This could limit how effective and productive Smith could be.
There is one thing that Jimmy Smith does have going for him, however: he could see some action at safety. If this happens, everything changes about what Smith could do in 2020.
Currently, Baltimore is set at safety as well with both starting spots being manned by studs Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark. Beyond them is a bit more in flux with veteran Anthony Levine, Sr. being the next man up. This is where Jimmy Smith can really separate himself from the pack by showing off the ability to be that third safety that can roam throughout the defense.
Smith has the coverage instincts and years of experience to become an elite deep safety and perhaps see an uptick in the turnover department because of it. While Smith has never been known as a turnover machine in his nine NFL seasons (14 career interceptions), that could perhaps change in a new role in 2020.
We’ve seen plenty of cornerbacks transition to safety and prolong their careers before and Jimmy Smith could easily play into that trend.
All in all, there’s plenty of reason to believe that Jimmy Smith could be instore for one of his best seasons yet this year. The defense will allow him to flex all throughout the front and make an impact at nearly every level. Even if the box score doesn’t fully express it, Smith will be huge for the Ravens in 2020.
Jimmy Smith is about to see his role in the Baltimore Ravens secondary massively expanded. Smith will remain a high-end cover corner with some time at safety to pad some stats, as well. The stat sheet may not necessarily reflect how important Smith is to this team’s success (it never really has), but I nonetheless expect great things from him in 2020 in a more expanded role than he’s seen before.
Jimmy Smith projected 2020 stats: 45 tackles, three interceptions, nine pass deflections