Monday, February 23, 2009

Andre Smith, What are You Thinking?

Andre Smith had a phenomenal year at Alabama last season. I loved watching him play as he always completely dominated the D-lineman across from him throughout the game.

Heck, when I asked SI writer Stewart Mandel which non-QB, RB or WR should win the Heisman Trophy, guess who he picked?(Scroll to the bottom, and yes that is actually me in that question. You should read Stewart’s book. It’s a fantastic read, and also explains why I worded my question the way I did.)

So the best player on many experts’ draft boards and potential first overall pick Andre Smith has had a heck of a 2009. First, he got himself suspended from the Sugar Bowl because of illegal contact with a sports agent. He then watched his Alabama team, which was ranked #1 most the year, get taken to the woodshed by non-BCS team Utah.

Now he has shown up to the combine in Indianapolis out of shape and weighing a supposed 340 lbs. He is not going to do any work at all at the combine.

This could potentially cost him millions of dollars. Jake Long was the first pick last year and was also an offensive tackle. He signed a contract that included 30 million dollars guaranteed. Smith was looking like a top five pick, one who could get similar amounts of money. Now there are talks he could fall to the late teens or early 20s. He went into the most important week of his life basically unprepared. This show lack of motivation and drive, and NFL teams will frown on his approach. He better have a spectacular pro day or he could be in trouble.

Saying all that, would I want the Bears to draft him if he fell to them? You bet I would. Getting a top 5 talent and essentially bookending their line with him and Chris Williams for the next decade looks great. (I want the Bears to take a tackle 1st round anyways, for this reason.) Get him under the wing of some of our more savvy veterans like Olin and Roberto Garza and he might be able to find his way. The Bears have taken risks before and it has worked out great. Just look at Alex Brown (Fourth round pick out of Florida, a guy with first round talent but character issues out of college, now a team leader). I know 1st round and 4th round are worlds away from each other, but each player was a risk.

I hope for Andre’s sake he turns around his 2009, because I loved watching him play at 'Bama. There is nothing I’d rather see then solid O-line play and he was the best in college football last year. I would love to see him fall in the Bears lap, but I doubt it will happen. Maybe I should hold out hope for Crabtree, like some other people!

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