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    Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    I have registered on a Alabama message board (TideFans.com) and asked them the following:

    Hey Bama fans!

    I am a moderator on a St. Louis Rams fan site. There has been a lot of discussion lately about Andre Smith, who is the concensus perferred choice for the Rams with their first round pick (second overall) in the upcoming NFL draft.

    I figured I'd go to the source and ask you to tell us about Smith.

    Do you think he will be a good pro?
    Will he be a good run blocker and pass blocker?
    What are his strengths/weaknesses?
    Does he have a good work ethic?
    Is he a "good character" guy?
    Do you think he's worth the second pick in the draft?

    Thanks!
    Here are the responses I've received so far:

    Quote Originally Posted by runtheoption22
    First, welcome to the board!

    You will get some good replies here, mingled in with some that are probably a bit bitter over the Sugar Bowl suspension.

    However, Andre will be a great pro. His strength is his run blocking (and that's why I think he's a prototype NFL LG- but I digress). He can absolutely collapse the left side of the line. He occasionally misses a pass block or two during a game, but I think a little of that has to do with the fact his reach (6'4" tall) isn't what a lot of NFL LT's are.

    We are truly going to miss him. Just look at our numbers in the two games he missed this year....significantly lower yards per game.

    Andre will represent you well, and I don't think you'll ever have off the field issues with him. He's very softspoken and won't give very memorable on-camera interviews.
    Quote Originally Posted by WMack4Bama
    Do you think he will be a good pro?
    Absolutely. A consumate pro. Perrenial all-pro.

    Will he be a good run blocker and pass blocker?
    He'll be an amazing run blocker. Pass blocking is good. He won't be over-powered, but he may be a tiny bit inconsistent with the power/speed rush guys like a Patrick Kerney. Mind you, Dre' will win 49 of 50 of those battles, but as you know, that 1 play could cost you the game.

    What are his strengths?
    He's a smart kid. He's been in 3 different variations of offenses all 3 years that he's been here, and he's been stellar in all of them.

    Does he have a good work ethic?
    Honestly, as long as Nick Saban is here, I don't think that's a question that you have to ask about anyone coming out of our program. Because if they didn't they would be on our team. This coaching staff does the weeding out for the NFL.

    Is he a "good character" guy?
    You won't find any better.

    Do you think he's worth the second pick in the draft? I think he's worth more than the 2nd pick honestly. Being a 49er fan, I hate that my squad will have to go up against him twice a year, but he'll be a solid anchor for the next 8-10 years for the Rams. You should hear "Jackson off left tackle" at least 15 times per game for the next few years. You've got yourself a great one. I don't know what Pace's plans are, but I'm pretty sure Dre can plug right in and be what Pace was for you during the Vermeil/Martz years.
    Quote Originally Posted by jangalang
    Run blocking - A+
    Pass blocking - A
    Agility - A
    Durability - A

    Barring an unforeseen injury, he'll be like Orlando Pace minus all the controversy and holdouts he brought to St. Louis. The most forgotten fact about Dre is that he was the first lineman to be named Mr. Football in Alabama. Impressive!
    Quote Originally Posted by LCN
    Yep . He's no Chris Samuels and I agree with RTO as well about AS playing OG . I think he could become one of the best guards to ever play in the league but , I seriously doubt we'll ever see such a switch take place .


    Quote Originally Posted by GreatDanish
    1. Yes, I think he will be a good pro, but I think he would be more dominant as a guard. I think that speedy ends in the NFL could get around him. His reach is not nearly as good as most elite NFL tackles, due to his build and his feet.
    2. He will be a great run blocker and a good pass blocker.
    3. Strengths - Physically imposing, smart player, and a good attitude; Weaknesses - Short reach, and will have to keep his weight in check.
    4. He has a good work ethic. I think we've had harder workers in the past, but he will do what is expected of him, without question.
    5. You'll have absolutely no discipline issues with him.
    6. I think you would have a Pro Bowl guard if you get him.

    I think if you need general help on your OL, then he's a rock solid pick, because he could realistically play four of the five line positions, although he has the most potential at LG in my opinion. There's no question as to whether or not he can play tackle in the NFL, I think it is just that his skills and body size seem to be more suitable for guard.


    Quote Originally Posted by gumptider
    Welcome to the Board!

    I will second the idea that Andre is probably better cut out for the LG role than LT. In my opinion, reach is the main issue.

    The real pleasure of having Andre Smith these past three seasons has been almost forgetting he is in there. We haven't had to worry about pressure from the left side; and when Andre was absent, Tulane and Utah, his tremendous value became painfully obvious. The peace of mind of having a guy like that protecting your QB is immeasurable.

    He is as light on his feet as any left tackle I have seen in big-time D-1 football. Jackson will be buying him many steak dinners.
    Quote Originally Posted by rgw
    The Lions will draft a QB, but the team with Smith will win divisions and trophies quicker than a team drafting a QB. He is practically the Rams' next Pace.
    Quote Originally Posted by ihateorange365
    You'd be getting a class act, and a fine football player.
    I'll continue to update this as we get more comments. So far, I'm sold.

    The comments on his potential as a guard are intriguing. One possible scenario for him would be to play as an OG as a rookie and then move to OT his second year when either (1) Pace retires, or (2) Barron is not re-signed. This would give him the ability to be a major contributer as a rookie, without the pressure adjusting to the speed of NFL DEs.

    I'm also pleased to hear that, despite his Sugar Bowl issue, he is regarded as a high character guy.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -01-08-2009 at 11:18 AM.


  2. #2
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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Sounds like he's more a replacement for Cogs than Pace.

    What if?...........

    FA: Jordan Gross
    Draft: Andre Smith

    LT: Pace/Gross
    LG: Bell
    C: Romberg/Leckey
    RG: Smith/Greco
    RT: Gross/Barron

    Hmm.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Still would need an upgrade at center, but that looks decent to me. I think Smith will ultimately be a very good LT, but I like the idea that he can also play OG or RT until the time comes to move him to that spot.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    It's tough to draft a guy second overall with the notion that he's going to play inside for you. The free agent contracts given to guards in the past have been huge, but no where near the contract Smith would get as a guard. That high, you have to view him as a left tackle and see what happens.

    All this talk about him being a potentially dominant guard at the next level makes me wonder if he doesn't compare to former Cardinal now Cowboy Leonard Davis. I like the idea of starting him at LG for his rookie season next to Pace, maybe have Orlando mentor the guy for his first year and see how he does. We could move bell to RG (or RT as was rumored a week or so ago) and see how he does on that side. Have Setterstrom or Greco back-up Smith and eventually take over the LG spot when Smith moves outside.

    I'm hoping Andre decides to workout at the combine so we can see what kind of lateral quickness and agility he displays. The senior OT's are going to have an advantage because everyone will see them at the Senior Bowl, assuming they elect to go.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    I agree that you don't draft a guy at #2 to play OG long-term (though, if I knew he'd be the next John Hannah or Larry Allen, perhaps I would).

    If he plays OG at a Pro Bowl type level for a year or two, and then moves to OT, I don't see a problem with that. If he's the best OL in the draft, I think he should be the pick.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Here are a few more comments from the Bama fans:

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaBall2001
    If you want a difference maker at left tackle Andre is your man.

    IMO he is a better prospect as a junior than Joe Thomas was as a senior. Pick him and you won't be sorry.
    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonCat
    Can't really add much to what has been said here. Smitty will make and excellent pro player, and very well may be deserving of the #1 slot. He will be greatly missed here, not just as a player but also in the way he represented himself while at the University. It was why most fans were a bit stunned in the way his career ended at BAMA. As noted, the drop-off in overall OLine play was distinctly noticable when he didn't play in games for BAMA most notably, the Sugar Bowl.
    Quote Originally Posted by AngryEwok
    Do you think he will be a good pro? Along the lines of Chris Samuel.

    Will he be a good run blocker and pass blocker? Excellent run blocker. Pass blocking is something I'm not so sure about, but only because we haven't had a passing game for a long time.

    What are his strengths/weaknesses? He's smart, he's got a good attitude, a good work ethic, and he's durable. His size and wingspan may be a weakness.

    Does he have a good work ethic? Nick Saban speaks highly of his work ethic, and that says something.

    Is he a "good character" guy? The best.

    Do you think he's worth the second pick in the draft? He's worth that investment and then some.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    I agree Smith sounds like a guard. I know most of you can't stand Cogs but what if like Hub said we get Gross in free agency. Instead of Romberg or Leckey at center what about Cogs? I know he subbed there a few times. All I know is most the pressure on Bulger was right up the gut over guard and center. Cogs has the build to be a center but not sure he has the brains. That would be one nasty o-line though with Pace,Bell,Cogs,Smith,Gross. Doesnt sound bad at all.
    Just Fix It

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    I agree with the comments already made that you don't draft somebody #2 overall to play on the interior of the line, or even as a RT.

    However, it seems that him being a dominant LG is viewed as a worst-case scenario. So he will probably end up somewhere between dominant LT and dominant LG. As long as we draft him with the expectation that he can fill the LT spot, and then move him to LG only if that doesn't work out, I like the pick.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    These talks about getting Smith and Gross just make me excited. From the sound of it, Dre' is an extremely high character guy, something that is a high priority in the Devaney era. Of course a little more research and background checks will need to be done, but I'm all for drafting Andre now.

    And I will jump for joy if we sign gross. He is entering the prime of his career, and these two addition would certainly turn one of our glaring weaknesses to one of are strengths.

    You put Jackson behind that line and records will be broken. Add some credibility to our defense and we will rise from the bottom of the league to a perennially contender.

    I'm probably way too optimistic after going 5-27 the last two seasons

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Honestly it sounds like he's more of a guard....which would work well, but we don't need one as bad as we need a tackle.

    However, this brings up the discussion of getting Jordan Gross in the free agency. If we get Gross...

    Pace - Bell - Cogs/Setterstrom/Rookie/Romberg - Smith - Gross

    Even if we do plug him in at RG, we have two more needs on this line. Does this mean we're going to go with Oher? Monroe? J. Smith? I don't know.

    These guys from the bama board seem to know what they're talking about. Who knows, maybe he can become a good pro tackle. But if he's a guard, we need to look at free agency for a RT.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Most of the Bama fans think he would be a good OT. I'd describe their opinion as being that he'd be a Pro Bowl player at OT, and a HOF at OG.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Interestingly, the tide has turned (pun intended) on the Bama board. Now, I'm seeing more posts from people who think the concerns about his size as an OT are overstated. Here are a couple of samples:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tider@UNA
    Theres been a lot mentioned about Andre's height and lack of reach. Maybe I'm the only one, but I don't think it's going to be as big of a factor as everyone else thinks it will be. While you typically want your LT to be 6'6" or so, it's not always mandatory. Many of today's most successful LT's are not as tall as you would think.

    Remember, Chris Samuels is 6'5"

    Several of this years Pro-Bowl starting OT's are 6'5" or less.
    Jordan Gross 6'4"
    Walter Jones 6'5"
    Jason Peters 6'4"
    Quote Originally Posted by MegaVars
    Even though most Tide fans agree that Smitty`s weakness is his pass blocking due to his stature, I think his foot quickness and initial contact of the DE makes up for the shorter wingspan. If I`m not mistaken Smitty only gave up one sack this season and he has been very rarely penalized throughout his career. Imo...this shows excellent technique.
    Quote Originally Posted by Crimson Flyboy
    I think more of Smitty's pass blocking than others, he gave up one sack his senior season. That is very impressive.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -01-08-2009 at 04:10 PM.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Question. Isn't this the same guy that missed the Sugar Bowl due to signing with an agent or receiving money (allegedly)? If that is the case, I wonder what happened to this guys "smart"'s and "dedication to team"?

    Now, if he is good as they say he is, I won't hold it against him enough to say "No thanks", but it does make you wonder. If he can't wait until after Saturday's bowl game to get that big cash advance, what's he going to do when he get's out in the real world with no coach baby sitting him and more money than he ever dreamed of having?
    This space for rent...

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Good work, AV. How about going on an Ole Miss forum and making similar enquiries about Michael Oher? I know that there are many who rate the latter higher than Smith, especially as a franchise left tackle prospect.

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    Re: Andre Smith: Bama Fans' Opinions

    Quote Originally Posted by DistantRam View Post
    Good work, AV. How about going on an Ole Miss forum and making similar enquiries about Michael Oher? I know that there are many who rate the latter higher than Smith, especially as a franchise left tackle prospect.
    I'd be interested to hear what UVA fans think of Eugene Monroe. There's something to be said about him manning the left tackle position at Virginia over 2008 Top 15 pick Brandon Albert.

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