Jimmy Smith - Ravens cornerback

Jimmy Smith is playing well and the Ravens are losing.

No, it’s not opposite day.

After being drafted 27th overall in 2011, Smith had a rocky first two years for the Ravens, with a lot more downs than ups. It didn’t take an expert to notice that he always fell victim to double moves and was constantly picked on by opposing quarterbacks.

In his third year, however, Smith has shown vast improvements. While he has always been a solid physical tackler, his coverage abilities have taken the next step. Through the first ten games, Smith has ten pass defenses, two forced fumbles, and an interception—against Aaron Rodgers, nonetheless.

Beyond the statistics, Smith looks confident out there. You may remember that Smith was called for holding in the end zone on Sunday, but he came back strong. Josh McCown immediately went after him twice on the same goal line stand, but Smith broke up both passes intended for Brandon Marshall.

In the past three weeks, Smith has matched up—and fared well—against elite receivers such as Josh Gordon, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery.

It’s a great sight to see Jimmy Smith’s potential come to fruition; up until this season, Ravens fans had been growing weary of his play and wondered if he would ever live up to the bill of being a first-round pick. I think it’s now safe to say that Smith’s future is bright. I’m excited to watch him blossom into a top corner in this league.

Now, if only the Ravens can get back to winning.