Andre Smith: How To Kill Your Draft Stock

Eddie GriffinSenior Analyst IFebruary 23, 2009

I was occupied over the weekend, so I didn’t see this until today (late, I know). I wondered what to make of Andre Smith’s disappearance from the NFL Combine?

Yeah, he apologized for it, as he should’ve, but this was the last thing that the reigning Outland Trophy winner needed two months before the 2009 NFL Draft.

Coming into the combine, few prospects had more of a spotlight on them than Smith. When it comes to his actual talent, there are questions about his pass-blocking (or are there?). But it‘s not footwork, agility, 40 time, or anything of that nature that trips up many prospects that has him under scrutiny.

His long-term struggles with weight, and staying in shape have been well-documented. Which may have been a major reason why he 86ed it in Indy.

Most recently—before his disappearing act in Indy—he was suspended for Alabama’s Sugar Bowl loss to Utah because he blatantly withheld information from coach Nick Saban and the school regarding contact with an agent rep. Not a smart move, to say the least.

In my most recent 2009 NFL mock draft (updated Friday), I had Smith falling to the Washington Redskins at No. 13, after he was No. 2 (St. Louis) in the previous update.

Just how far will he fall? His talent is known, but a lot will depend on what kind of shape he is in at his Pro Day.

If he shows up in the right shape and proves that he has his head in the right place, he’ll be back in the mix for a spot in the top 10. With the Rams, Cincinnati, Oakland, and possibly Seattle and Jacksonville all looking for offensive linemen, the potential is there.

If he doesn't, it's a realistic possibility that he drops to the Redskins...or farther. In the end, he could end up with Detroit...just not in the spot many of us thought he might not too long ago. The drop may not stop at No. 20, depending on whose opinion you like to rely on.

The big question is whether or not he’s really worth the investment. Talent and potential-wise are the reasons why he‘s been so high on everyone‘s board all this time.

But there are only so many times you can make mistakes and apologize for them, and the pattern that he’s setting isn’t an encouraging one. Not for his future or for the teams.