Davis: Smith earns another look from pro day

We all went to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, today to see Andre Smith at his pro day workout.

There were other Alabama players involved. But, because Smith did not work out at the Scouting Combine; because he announced to everyone he had only been working out for a couple of weeks before Indy; because he just kind of left the next day after not doing the bench press at all and people didn’t know where he was … it kind of became a sideshow, which was unfortuante for him.

Everyone wanted to get a look. What had Smith been doing since that time?

He weighed in at 325, which wasn’t bad, because there had been reports in the past of him being north of 370 pounds. He bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times, which was OK since he has extremely long arms at almost 36 inches. So, that’s not bad, but it’s not great; he needs to get into the 20’s. The problem he really has is his physique. There’s no getting around  it — he’s just not cut up. That doesn’t look good.

Smith’s 40 time was pedestrian, but I don’t think teams are really worried about a 40 time for a lineman. He didn’t run poorly. I was standing next to some scouts who liked the way that he ran. He showed some fluidity.

All in all, for those teams that had dropped Smith on their draft boards after the scouting combine, I’m not sure he did that much to change their minds today. But for those who liked him prior to Indianapolis and wanted to give him a second chance, I think he did enough to keep them coming back and checking his progress leading up to the draft.

Smith is a difficult projection, because it’s all about what each team is going to feel. I  had Smith at No. 6 in my last mock draft, but that was with an asterisk because I wanted to see how he performed today. I’m not sure where I’ll rank him from here on out. But I saw enough today that I’d love to go back in a month or two to see him again.

At the beginning of this whole process, Smith had a chance to be the No. 1 tackle in the draft, bar none. Now I don’t think he has a chance to be the top tackle on the consensus board, but it doesn’t mean he still might not be the second or third tackle off the board if a team doesn’t like what he does between now and the draft.

As expected, there was mixed reaction on Smith today. Here’s an example.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” said one pro personnel director. “He did a little bit more than I expected. I came in fearing the worst. I came in fearing that he hadn’t done a whole lot. You can tell he has a long way to go, but you can tell he’s done a few things.”

“I’m telling you right now, no way,” said one scout. “He showed me all he needed to show me by leaving in Indy. I wouldn’t have anything to do with him.”

If you didn’t like Smith before because of his actions in Indy, I don’t know if he gave you a reason today to make you want to follow his progress.  But if you liked him before, and you want to give him a chance, he probably did enough to make that happen.

Charles Davis

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