John Brown does not want you to call him John Brown.
The natural assumption is he's called Smoke because he's fast. Right?! After all, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.
Nope. That's not it.
"My grandma's boyfriend when I was first born, that's how I got the nickname, because of my skin color," Brown said with a chuckle.
The nickname has stuck ever since. Just check out the reaction from Ravens safety Tony Jefferson when the Ravens agreed to a deal with Brown.
Jefferson was influential in recruiting Smokey to come to Baltimore. The two played together for three years in Arizona.
"I reached out to Tony Jefferson, and he was telling me, 'This is the place to be. You're coming here,'" Brown said. "He kind of told me where I was going to be at – but just hearing the excitement in his voice, I knew this was a place I could call 'home' and I'll be happy."