What If Andre Smith Did Fall?

While my partner in crime Darkwing has been clamoring for the Bucs to lock up restricted free agent Donald Penn to a long term deal, one that he has been openly seeking the last few weeks (a giant long term deal) there is a situation that caused a lot of controversy this week at the NFL Scouting Combine that could work out in the favor of many teams who are seeking help at the coveted position of left tackle. 

Left Tackle Andre Smith, who not only two weeks ago was pretty much the consensus number one pick for the Lions if they didn’t choose a QB had a rough week at the NFL Combine.  He apparently was not well versed in any of his interviews, nor well dressed for that matter.  To complicate matters, he dissapeared Saturday afternoon to go home to Alabama and train for his pro day.  The dissapearance might not have been a big issue had he just alerted the media and the people in charge of the Combine, because he wasn’t intending to work out with the offensive lineman anyway.  He essentially flew to Indy to get his official measurements, do interviews (ones that went poorly) and fly home. 

Darren Rovell of CNBC, a favorite of mine, speculates that his blunders this weekend may cost him in excess of 24 million dollars.  This could work out well for a team such as the Bucs who may not want to spend the money to lock up their current LT.  Penn this year was the lowest paid starting LT in the league.  While this certainly worked in our benefit this season, his progression, at the second highest paid position in the league, could have the Bucs on the hook for a hefty pay increase for a guy who has looked solid, but doesn’t seem to have a huge ceiling. 

Smith on the other hand has an enormous ceiling, even with his issues this weekend.  Scouts Inc. of ESPN still grades Smith out at a 95, making him the 9th rated player on their board, and as I mentioned earlier, he spent much of the season in the top 5 as well as numero uno.  At 6’5″ and 345 lbs, Smith would complete the youngest and possibly most dominant lines in the league for the Bucs.  With recent 1st round selection Davin Joseph making his first Pro Bowl, 2nd round selection Aaron Sears not far behind, last years 2nd round pick Jeremy Zuttah just clamoring for a permanent spot on the line and last years FA and highest paid center in the league Jeff Faine, the Bucs already have a young imposing line.  If a player such as Smith were to fall into their laps after the first 15, it would have to be a situation in which we consider.  Penn also has the potential to play the RT position where Jeremy Trueblood sometimes struggled this year.  

While picking another offensive lineman in the top 2 rounds would certainly piss off the majority of our fans in the Bay Area, especially with an aging defense and a lack of overall playmaking ability on offense, I would certainly see the logic in taking a guy who has top 5 talent and not having to pay him Top 5 money because of a bad weekend.

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Tags: Aaron Sears Andre Smith Davin Joseph Pro Bowl Donald Penn Jeff Faine Jeremy Trueblood Jeremy Zuttah

  • Mike J

    I am not sold. I watched him a bit during the season; he is a guy who runs to fat.It hampers his movement. If you are a weight problem at that age, look out when you are 30. This Combine episode is a major sign of immaturity & lack of discipline to me.He has already been spoken of as a possible switch to guard in the pro’s.

  • http://PewterPlank Dustin Staggers

    Just some speculation on my part and for any team that might need help at LT.  A couple years ago a guy fell because of some weight issues, and in his case an injury issue and has since become one of the best LT’s in the league, Marcus McNeil.  Just like I said though, merely speculation on my part Mike.  Just something to make people think a little .

  • John

    Even as hard as he’s tried, I can’t see Smith making it down to 15.  While Penn has been serviceable, you have to think the Bucs may look to try and upgrade the LT position.  There are a couple of guys (Beatty, Britton, Meredith) who could be available in rounds 2-3 that have some skill.  And there’s always Kwame Harris, who just got released by the Raiders. LOL   Only other guy I see in FA who might work is Khalif Barnes out of Jacksonville.

  • Mike J

    I’m not dismissing Smith out-of-hand should he drop to 19. He is a talent. You just wonder what he would be like if he laid off the fried chicken, ran some laps, hit the weights, & got down to 321. He  has the Pro Day yet, & we shall see how he does there.

  • John

    He supposedly has dropped from over 350 down to 332 when he weighed in at the combine, so he has been doing some work.  I REALLY have to question what kind of agent he has that let everything go so wrong at the combine.  If I’ve got a client who has a chance to be a top 5 pick, I’ve got someone with him 24-7 making sure he’s saying the right things and making the right impression.  It seems kind of odd he was still trying to find an agent just a few weeks ago.  Maybe his agent is also his cousin, who knows?  LOL

  • Mike J

    Peter King:

    I think we are watching Andre Smith, the AWOL Alabama left tackle, turn into the 33rd pick of the draft, right before our eyes. Suspended by his coach for the bowl game. Out of shape when he gets to the combine. Leaves a day early — he says because he wants to get home to hurry up and continue working with his trainer. Right. Smith will be hurt by the fact that, for the second-straight year, there are six or seven very good tackle prospects, and teams would rather have a William Beatty (the UConn kid) with maybe a lesser upside than to take a chance on wasting a pick on Smith.

  • MIke J

    Posted by Aaron Wilson on March 11, 2009, 4:25 p.m. EDT
    Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith’s campus workout today in front of NFL scouts was a “disaster,” according to Tony Pauline of SI.com.
    Quoting an unnamed scout, Pauline writes that Smith’s lack of preparation was obvious as he was overweight. One scout called the performance, “one of the worst workouts I’ve ever seen.”
    Another AFC East scout told Pauline: “He lost millions today.”
    As a league source told us earlier today, Smith ran with his shirt off.
    According to Pauline, comments were made about “the flab and the rolls on his body” during Smith’s 40-yard dashes as he posted times between 5.21 and 5.29 seconds.
    Per the article, several scouts weren’t happy to travel a long way only to witness a bad workout. And Smith’s trainers were not pleased, either.