Did John Harbaugh Not Want The Ravens To Draft Jimmy Smith?

The Ravens number one draft pick, cornerback Jimmy Smith, is looking to sign with Baltimore with a number of off-the-field run-ins with the law.  Smith told the media that he’s looking to start fresh during his professional career, but fans and experts wonder if Smith will seek out trouble just as he did in college at Colorado.

Howard Eskin, a sports radio personality on WIP AM in Philadelphia, was a guest on 105.7 The Fan with Ken Weinman and Vinny Cerrato and he believes that John Harbaugh was not comfortable with drafting Smith and that is what caused the confusion during the Ravens pick.

“You know those background checks they do,” Eskin asked.  “Man, it didn’t come up pretty.”

“I don’t think he (John Harbaugh) really wanted him, that’s why there was all that confusion at that pick.”

Eskin said he hasn’t had a chance to ask Harbaugh personally, but that he knows him and would like to ask face to face rather than via a text message.

“He had problems — he was struggling with the character issues, he really was.”  “And once the Eagles got past their place in the draft, I think there was communication between John (Harbaugh) and the Eagles people to try to find out a little about this guy because they know that the Eagles did look at him and I think he had some real reservations with that.”

Obviously, Eskin’s area of expertise is the Eagles, another team that passed on drafting Smith.

“They never, never had an intention, Andy Reid is into character people.”

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.


  1. Greg E.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Andy Reid’s into character people? That’s why he brought Terrell Owens and Michael Vick onto his team. Spare me.

  2. Jeff

    June 15, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Andy Reid’s own sons have more character issues than Jimmy Smith. The judge who sentenced the Reid boys to jail said
    Andy Reid’s home was like a “drug emporium.” I’m pretty sure character isn’t high on his list. Howard Eskin is an idiot who likes to hear himself talk.

  3. Ross

    June 15, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Eskin’s comments seem very irresponsible if he had not had talked to Harbaugh. Especially when the actual reason the pick was late has been extremely well documented and confirmed.

  4. Jeff Pilson

    June 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

    While I agree that Eskine’s comments come from out of left field, I would imagine if there is one person int he Ravens brain trust that did have the most reservations about drafting Smith, it would have been Harbs. Given how badly things went between Harbs and Chris McAlister, there would be the temptation to view Smith as CMac part II.
    I am not trying to give any crednece to what Eskine said, but I would not be surprised if that is the way Harbaugh felt and/or feels. If Harbs has those feelings, hopefully they will not influence his relationship with Smith.

  5. MGW

    June 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Wouldn’t anybody have reservations given their muffed pick last year? God bless Sergio Kindle and I wish him well on turning his life around, but here was a guy with a sordid history and at least two substance abuse issues in college and the Ravens look past that and hope he can help the pass rush only to have the guy take a nose dive down not one but two flights of stairs- never did get a good explanation on that one, was he in the Washington monument? And then be arrested for DUI in December yet again. So that’s four “incidents” that we know about. Npw they take a flyer on another shady character. If you blow two top picks in a row (Kindle was a second rounder, but the Ravens first pick) you could quickly find yourself in deep trouble. Let’s hope the Ravens aren’t getting desperate or have the feeling they are the smartest guy in the room. Kindle and Smith taking over for Lewis and Reed (leadership wise not position)…hmmm, not real comfortable with that one.

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    June 16, 2011 at 10:33 am


  11. Jeff Pilson

    June 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

    @WILLETTA – Thats fair. Vick has shown no signs of turning his life around and moving beyond his crimes.