NFL Gridiron Gab starts a look at some of the big names in the upcoming NFL Draft. Today – we look at the offensive linemen:
Jason Smith, Baylor, Senior, 6’5” 309lbs:
Strengths: Has been a staple on the left side for Baylor after converting from tight end. Smith is very nimble on his feet, and very athletic playing in a spread offense. The one thing that scout’s are most impressed with is his upside, Smith has a ton of potential to be a star left tackle. He is also a nasty finisher who plays with a mean-streak, wanting to physically dominate his opponent.
Weaknesses: Smith played in the spread at Baylor, which meant he played almost exclusively from a two-point stance. There is also the question of how well he run blocks, which is something he was rarely asked to do in college.
Eugene Monroe, Virginia, Senior, 6’5” 309lbs:
Strengths: Monroe is as solid a left tackle prospect as they come, and was actually the reason that number 17 overall pick last year, Brandon Albert, never got to play tackle. Monroe excels in pass protection, but can also mix it up in the ground game. He is being billed as this year’s can’t-miss pick.
Weaknesses: It is hard to find anything in Monroe’s game to criticize, but about the only thing that could be brought up is that he may already peaked, meaning that he doesn’t really have much upside.
Andre Smith, Alabama, Junior, 6’4” 332lbs:
Strengths: Won the Outland trophy this season as the nation’s top offensive lineman, as a junior. Smith spearheaded Bama’s potent rushing attack, all while protecting his quarterback’s blindside. Smith is a gifted player at the tackle position, and his nimble feet allow him to get to the next level in the ground game, as well as stay in front of speedy defensive ends.
Weaknesses: Smith’s disappearing act at the combine raised some maturity questions, especially after he was held out of the Crimson Tide’s bowl game as well, after breaking team rules. When he did work out at his pro day, he looked out of shape, and like he had not been working hard at all.