I was participating in a Fansided Network Mock Draft today and had to make a tough decision. I don’t want to steal my own thunder with whom I selected, but Alabama OT Andre Smith, once thought to be a possibility as the #1 overall selection, was sitting there at #18 when I had my Jerry Angelo hat on. I called my long-time guy Louie and asked, “Do I dare?” He responded with a resounding “HELL NO! He’s a fatter, lazier Stan Thomas!” Here’s the scarier question: what if this happens in real life (as opposed to fake life) and Andre Smith is there for the Bears in the first round? What should they do?
For those not in fully in the know, let me give you some background on Smith. He was an absolute beast of a left tackle at Alabama. He used his massive 6’4″ 330 pound frame to maul his opponents as easily as he mauled through the Old Country Buffet . The number of his collegiate awards and honors (15 according to Wikipedia) nearly equals his Wonderlic score (17 for those taking my the Wonderlic here). Most notably he was awarded the 2008 Outland Trophy, honoring the best lineman in college football. That puts him in the company of Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden and Joe Thomas; not too shabby.
Things started to go off the rails for Smith on December 29, 2008 when he was suspended for Alabama’s Sugar Bowl game for allegedly being in contact with an agent other than his own. The Tide were upset by the Utah Utes 30-17. Matters worsened for Smith when he essentially blew off the NFL Scouting Combine, showing up out of shape and declaring that he wouldn’t work out. At one point, he was declared “missing” when he left without properly informing his group leader.
All was supposed to have been better at his Alabama Pro Day. Check out footage that I pulled from YouTube below:
Here’s what Sporting News had to say about his workout:
Scouts observed him “jiggling” when running the two 40-yard dashes in 5.30 seconds and 5.36 seconds. His lack of preparation showed the most in the 225-pound bench press — he managed 19 repetitions but seemingly struggled to complete each one.
His other measurable drills were just as poor: 1.86 and 1.89 seconds in the 10-yard dash; 3.04 seconds and 3.08 seconds in the 20-yard dash; 25-inch vertical jump; 7-foot, 10-inch broad jump; 4.95 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle; and 8.08 seconds in the three-cone drill.
None of his measurables would rank him anywhere near the top for his position, but maybe we’re too hung up on measurables and stats? His game tape speaks for itself. He was an elite player in an SEC conference that features real pro prospects. It’s not he dominated in some small Division I-AA school.
So what’s a GM to do? On the one hand, you have a talented OT prospect whose game tape and college statistics show he should be an elite tackle on Sundays. On the other hand, you have a kid who appears to be lazy, immature and maybe a little nutty too. If Jerry Angelo hadn’t drafted a pre-injured tackle in Chris Williams last year to go along with a whole host of picks that would be deemed spotty at best, maybe you take a chance that with the proper structure and leadership, this kid lives up to his potential and fills one of your tackle slots for the next 1o years. But in a world of uncertainty and multi-million dollar guaranteed deals for 1st round picks, I don’t think you can pull the trigger on this kid.
What do you think Bears fans? Would you take a risk on Andre Smith if he’s there for you in the first round? Who would you take with the first round pick? Hit it up in the Comments.
Topics: 2009 Draft, Alabama Crimson Tide, Andre Smith, Chicago Bears, Football, Jerry Angelo, Joe Thomas, Jonathan Ogden, Mock Draft, NFL, NFL Draft, Orlando Pace, Outland Trophy, Scouting Combine, Stan Thomas, Wonderlic Test