While Alabama OT Andre Smith might not have put forth sensational workout-drill numbers, word out of Tuscaloosa is that he looked far better in his positional drills. The workout drills might not be totally indicative of Smith’s ability.
Weight issues and workout times are not always the best barometer of a prospect’s skill level. I’m reminded of former Pro Bowl lineman Nate Newton.
I signed Newton when I was with the Dallas Cowboys the afternoon after the USFL went under, and he weighed 295 pounds at the time (heavy for that day and age). Some of our coaches wondered how he would be able to perform at his size, but he wound up being one of the best players in the league at his position.
Not to say Smith will be the next Newton, but he should not automatically be dismissed because of his weight or disappointing workout-drill times — especially given his impressive college tape and solid performance in the positional drills.
That said, the initial impressions from Smith’s workout were not overly impressive. He came into his pro day hoping to post solid numbers and prove to scouts that he was in shape after showing up to the combine overweight and leaving Indianapolis unannounced without doing the drills.
Smith told NFL.com’s Steve Wyche heading into the pro day: “There’s so much I’m putting into March 11. They say don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but I’m doing that on this occasion because I feel like I need to give the best showing I can.”
Well, Smith’s workout times were unspectacular. He came in at 6-foot-4 ¼, 325 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.28 and 5.33 seconds. He had a 25-inch vertical, a 7-foot and 10-inch broad jump, a 7.88-second three-cone drill and 19 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds. He did the short shuttle in 4.93 seconds.
To put Smith’s workout drills in perspective, he did not post a single number that would have placed him in the top performers at his position at the combine, and many of his numbers were not even close to the top 10 at his position at the combine.
– Gil Brandt