Cincinnati Bengals Draft picks
Round 1...#6... Andre Smith OT Alabama
6’4”, 330 lbs.
Strengths: Size, Athleticism, Agility
Weaknesses: Size, Quickness
As the possibility that Smith may come out a year early, the offensive tackle stands a great chance of getting drafted highly in the 2009 NFL Draft. Smith has had a steady and solid career at Alabama and has the potential to start right away in the NFL. Smith started 13 games as a true freshman at the left tackle position. He started every game at the left tackle in his sophomore year and has started each game so far this season. This is a clear testament to his durability and after not having missed a game due to injury or ineffective play. Durability is something that NFL scouts look for in offensive lineman and Smith is very durable.
Some of the other positive attributes that Smith has include his size (but this is also somewhat of a drawback) which is near ideal for his position. He handles smaller defenders with ease and can block the run very well. He has the moves to get set up and get in position to block the defensive end on the outside. Smith also has quick feet which allow him to keep up with defenders and stay on his blocks.
For a guy his size, Smith is very athletic and it shows almost every time he makes a block. He can move well in space and gets down the field quickly when blocking the run. Speaking of blocking for the run, Smith excels as a run blocker and is an asset there.
Mechanically Smith is pretty sound and uses his arms well and stays low enough in his stance to help keep defenders blocked out of the play. He has a powerful initial punch and can move very well. He is also versatile and can play guard, center or right tackle.
The only real downside to Smith is his weight. In the past, he has weighed close to 350 pounds making him somewhat of a risk for being too overweight for the position. He is also a little short for the position but his size hasn’t been an issue for him in the college game and shouldn’t be too much of an issue in the NFL thanks to his athleticism.
Some of the honors that Smith has received include Second Team All American Preseason selection, First Team All SEC, Second Team All SEC, Freshman All American, All SEC Coaches selection, Alabama’s Offensive Player of the Year, co-winner of the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy, 2007 Coaches First Team All SEC selection, co winner of the 2008 Paul Crane Offensive Lineman Award, and the University of Alabama Offensive Co-Player of the Week (Sophomore Season). Smith is also one of 12 finalists for the Lombardi Award, a candidate for the Outland Trophy and was a preseason Playboy Magazine All American.
Smith went to Huffman High School. While there, he was named a First Team All American by USA Today and the US Army, was a two time All State choice, a 2005 Bobby Dodd Award winner and was named Alabama’s Mr. Football.
Smith has garnered a lot of attention from college football and NFL Draft experts and there are many of these experts who think that he has the talent to go early in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft if he decides to come out a year early. Right now there is no indication as to what he plans to do but if he does come out and has a good ramp with scouts, he could easily be a first round selection and go somewhere in the top 15 of the draft. Update:
The 2008 Outland Trophy winner, Smith, a 6-5, 330-pound junior from Birmingham, Ala., has started 13 games at left tackle and has surrendered just one sack. He has helped Alabama (12-1) rank among the Top 25 rushing teams in college football. He was the SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week when Alabama rushed for 328 yards against Arkansas. Smith is also projected in some circles, if he elects to come out, to be the No. 1 player to be selected overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Robert Bryant says,
"Not so fast, in my opinion, he doesn't have the feet to be a top left tackle in the NFL unless he loses some weight and improves on his quickness. He has the power as a run blocker, but can be beaten around the edge by speed rushers. His legs are massive and a little heavy. He reminds me of the Cowboys OG Leonard Davis, who was selected 2nd overall in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Cardinals. Davis ended up at guard and that might be Smith's ultimate position. That's not a bad thing though, he could easily be a pro bowl guard. I just think at 6' 4" 330 pounds, his body structure fits the guard position better."
Daryl Breault says,
"I’ll give you that Smith may be too large and slow at times, but his athleticism, flexibility and his kick step overshadow this to a great degree. He does need to drop 10-15 pounds and improve his stamina but he is far more nimble footed than Leonard Davis. Smith recovers far better than Davis, has better technique and he was beaten much less than everyone is making it sound. Smith had only one sack allowed in 2008, yet reading what is said on many draft sites, it sounds much worse."
Round 2...#38... Rey Maualuga LB USC
Round 3...#70... Michael Johnson DE GT
Round 3...#98 (Compensatory pick)... Chase Coffman TE Missouri
Round 4...#106... Jonathan Luigs C Arkansas
Round 5...#142...Kevin Huber P Cincinnati
Round 6...#179... Trent Morgan CB Michigan
Round 6...#209 (Compensatory pick)... Bernard Scott RB Abilene Christian
Round 7...#215... Fui Vakapuna RB
Round 7...#249 (Compensatory pick)... Clinton McDonald DE Memphis
Round 7...#252 (Compensatory pick)...Freddie Brown WR Utah