There really hasn't ever been a question about his talent. Rated among the top three cornerbacks in the draft, Smith fell to the Ravens at the 27th overall pick because of character issues.
The Ravens, though, will help Smith adjust to life in the NFL. Foxworth said one of his contributions to the team this year is to help Smith "mature as fast as possible intellectually on the field and socially off the field."
"He seems like a great young man, and I've heard that he's a great talent," Foxworth said. "So, it's really part of your responsibility, especially on a team like this, it's understood that you help out the young guys, and I felt like doing it with Webb before was great, and he's really come into his own. So, I look forward to working with Jimmy and teaching him everything I can and helping him mature."
If you glance at Smith on the field, he reminds you of the Ravens' last shutdown cornerback, Chris McAlister. He is big enough to match up against physical receivers. He has the speed to cover the fast ones.
"I hear a lot of comparisons but I haven't seen his game or how he plays," Smith said of McAlister. "But I also hear a lot of things that I don't want to fall into that he did."
During his 10 years with the Ravens, McAlister was arrested for driving under the influence and was suspended by the team for missing curfew in San Diego.
Smith intends on choosing a different path.
"Obviously, he's got all the tools and he's got a really good attitude," Harbaugh said. "He's a hard worker. I think he has to learn how to be a pro and I'm very certain he can do that."
Jimmy Smith will try to continue a tradition of first-round picks starting immediately for the Ravens:
A look at how many games recent Ravens first-round picks started as rookies:
2002 ; Ed Reed ; FS ; 16 games ;
2003 ; Terrell Suggs* ; LB ; 1 game ;
2003 ; Kyle Boller ; QB ; 9 games ;
2005 ; Mark Clayton WR ; 10 games ;
2006 ; Haloti Ngata; DT ; 16 games ;
2007 ; Ben Grubbs; G ; 12 games ;
2008 ; Joe Flacco ; QB ; 16 games ;
2009 ; Michael Oher; OT; 16 games ;
* NFL defensive rookie of the year
Note: Ravens didn't have a first-round pick in 2004 and 2010