The Ravens' review: 2012 season
To keep you entertained during the 2013 NFL offseason, blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will go back and review the performance of each significant Ravens contributor during the 2012 season. He started with the team's free agents and recent retires and will break down a new Ravens player every weekday.
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Jimmy Smith, cornerback( Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun / December 12, 2012 )
GS: 2 | GP: 11 | Snaps: 554
Season in review: It was a disappointing regular season for Smith, the team's first-round draft pick in 2011. He started the season as the team's third cornerback behind Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams. He was thrust into the starting lineup when Webb tore his ACL, but he would soon suffer a sports hernia and miss five games. Smith returned late in the season and was eased into action. He found redemption in the final moments of the Super Bowl as his tight coverage helped the Ravens hold off a late San Francisco 49ers rally.
Signature moment: With the 49ers facing a 4th-and-5 play at the Ravens' five-yard line, Smith banged bodies with 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree off the line of scrimmage. His tight coverage helped disrupt the timing of the desperation play and Colin Kaepernick¿s pass sailed out of the side of the end zone.
Stat that stands out: 85.5 -- pass rating of quarterbacks when targeting Smith, per Pro Football Focus.
Pro Football Focus grade: -10.7 overall | -4.2 in pass coverage | -2.0 as a run defender | -4.5 penalty
Outlook for 2013 and beyond: With Williams gone and Webb coming off major knee surgery, the Ravens need Smith to start playing up to his potential in 2013. His play in the final moments of the Super Bowl should give him confidence, though he probably isn't lacking much of it. Smith must learn how to play tight, physical coverage without being flagged. Making better plays on the ball would also be helpful. But Smith is just 24, so it's too soon to call him a bust. He could still turn out to be a very good cornerback.