Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Andre Smith
Andre Smith (OT)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 332
College: Alabama
Conference: SEC
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
High School: Huffman
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Cincinnati Bengals
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 6 (6)
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Pick Analysis: Marvin Lewis has stated that he wants to get back to running the football, and Smith gives the Bengals a dominating offensive tackle to run behind. Though he had a series of mishaps in the run up to the draft, there is no denying that Smith is one of the best tackle prospects in the draft.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

An impressive physical specimen who compares to Dallas Cowboys' guard Leonard Davis, Smith possesses outstanding agility and quickness for his size. Regarded as a premier offensive line prospect out of high school and one of the standouts of the 2005 recruiting class, he went on to establish himself as the elite at the college level, as evidenced by being named the recipient of the 2008 Outland Trophy.


Even at 343 pounds, Smith displays excellent foot speed and agility. He started every game (38) in which he played for the Crimson Tide, missing the 2009 Sugar Bowl when he was ruled ineligible for direct contact with an agent. In addition to earning the Outland Trophy in 2008, he was won Alabama's Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award, shared the Southeastern Conference's Jacobs Blocking Trophy with Arkansas' Jonathan Luigs, was twice chosen an All-SEC first-team pick and added consensus All-American first-team notice in 2008.


Smith was a three-year starter at Huffman High School. He was the consensus top-rated offensive lineman in the country as a senior. The first-team All-American choice by USA Today and the U.S. Army, he was also a two-time All-State selection. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Bobby Dodd Award and named Alabama's Mr. Football by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, becoming the only offensive lineman to ever win the honor.


Smith was also named Mr. Football and the state's best prospect by The Birmingham News. The Rivals.com Alabama Offensive Lineman of the Year recorded 88 knockdown blocks and was named the Class 6A Lineman of the Year in 2005. He was one of four finalists for the Walter Payton Award, given to the best prep player in the nation.


Smith enrolled at Alabama in 2005, taking over at left tackle. He became the seventh true freshman in school history to start in his first career game since 1972, joining Larry Rose (1985), Jon Stevenson (1991), Terry Jones, Jr. (1988), Dante Ellington (1999), Saleem Rasheed (1999) and Tim Castille (2003). He delivered 70 knockdown blocks as he led the team by being on the field for 831 offensive and special teams plays.


Smith garnered team Player of the Week honors four times during his sophomore season, when he shed over 25 pounds from his once 370-pound frame prior to the season opener.


He started all 13 games, as he was named All-SEC and earned the league's Jacobs Blocking Trophy. He led the conference down linemen with 116 knockdowns and had fifteen touchdown-resulting blocks while allowing only 1.5 quarterback sacks on 472 pass plays. He was penalized five times and played the second part of the season with a left ankle sprain suffered vs. Tennessee and a right ankle sprain incurred the next week in the Louisiana State clash.


As a junior, Smith was a consensus All-American and unanimous All-SEC first-team pick. The Outland Trophy and Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipient saw his campaign get off to a rough start. He suffered a knee sprain in the season opener vs. Clemson that forced him to sit out the following week vs. Tulane and play just two quarters upon his return, vs. Western Kentucky. He also sprained his elbow in the season's sixth contest vs. Kentucky, but still delivered 103 knockdowns while pacing SEC blockers with seventeen touchdown-resulting blocks.


High School

Attended Huffman (Birmingham, Ala.) High School, playing football for head coach Curtis Coleman...The three-year starter was the consensus top-rated offensive lineman in the country as a senior...The first-team All-American choice by USA Today and the U.S. Army, he was also a two-time All-State selection...In 2005, he was the recipient of the Bobby Dodd Award and was selected Alabama's Mr. Football by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, becoming the only offensive lineman to ever win the honor...Also named Mr. Football and the state's best collegiate prospect by The Birmingham News...The Rivals.com Alabama Offensive Lineman of the Year recorded 88 knockdown blocks and was named the Class 6A Lineman of the Year in 2005...One of four finalists for the Walter Peyton Award, given to the best prep player in the nation.


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Analysis

Positives: Flashes rare initial quickness for such a large man, especially on the down block. Surprisingly quick getting to the second level as a run blocker or on screens. Explosive upper-body strength and can pancake defenders when he keeps his feet. Massive man with the deep kick-step and long arms to keep defenders at bay when in pass protection. Allowed only one sack in 2008. Can absorb the bull rush. Intuitive football player. Recognizes and reacts well to surprise blitzes. If presented with two rushers, chooses his correct assignment and effectively neutralizes at least one of the defenders, instead of trying (and failing) to handle both. Good effort downfield. Hasn't missed a game due to injury in three seasons at Alabama.


Negatives: Inconsistent initial quickness. Can be a step slow off the snap in pass protection, though his deep kick-step and massive frame allow him to catch up to the defender quickly. Inconsistent hand punch. Might be more passive than scouts would like. Too often absorbs blows from the defender, rather than initiating the action. Allows defenders to slip free from his blocks when he gets fundamentally lazy and leans, rather than driving his feet. Suspended for his final game, the Sugar Bowl against Utah, due to a violation of team rules.


Injury Report

2007: Suffered a left ankle sprain vs. Tennessee (10/20)...Left the Louisiana State game (11/03) in the second quarter after spraining his right ankle.


2008: Left the Clemson game (8/30) in the third quarter and sat out the following week vs. Tulane with a right knee medial collateral ligament sprain...Suffered an elbow strain in the Kentucky clash (10/04)...Played with a flu-like virus vs. Mississippi (10/18).


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