The Ballad of Jason Smith

As you all know, 2009 number 2 overall selection Jason Smith was benched again on Sunday for poor play. And unfortunately, this is a theme that we have seen far too often on Sundays. Jason Smith has the talent to be a great tackle in the NFL, but far too often his fundamentals and assignments are so poor that the Rams are forced to pull him for a less talented lineman.

Looking back at the 2009 draft, the Rams really were not in a good spot. They were picking number 2 overall in a strange draft. The best players in the draft were all picked after the 13th pick. The picks at 11, 12, 16 and 18 are already out and out busts. Additionally, all of the top players have had problems. We here at Rams Gab really wanted Aaron Curry, who has proven to be a hothead and has just recently been benched by the Seahawks.

The Rams got Jason Smith basically by default. They needed a tackle or two. Jason Smith, Andre Smith, Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher were the top 4 tackles. Oher has turned out to be the best tackle of the bunch and that is not saying much as he has struggled at times as well. Oher fell hard in the draft after there were questions about his ability to pick up an offense. Andre Smith was overweight and many questioned his motivation. Monroe was a less talented but more polished lineman.

With the number 2 selection and an upcoming payment of about $33 million guaranteed in a draft that was anything but stacked, there was no possible way the Rams could have moved their pick for anything. Their talent evaluators liked Smith the best. So, Smith was the pick with the price tag and cap hit that went along with him.

Jason Smith was quickly deemed to be a solid right tackle starting prospect and that is exactly what happened, with the exception of the solid portion. Smith was eased into the game series by series by the Rams coaches in his first season at left and right tackle. And when he finally found his starting spot at right tackle, the Rams yet again are struggling to find a way to get their talented and expensive tackle on the right track.

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