Bryan Smith's release Means Andy Reid's Draft Record Takes Another Hit

Jared ShermanContributor ISeptember 6, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 1: Defensive lineman Bryan Smith #63 of the Philadelphia Eagles run during minicamp practice at the NovaCare Complex on May 1, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Another year and another Andy Reid high draft pick gets cut.

Defensive end Bryan Smith, the 83rd-overall pick in the 2008 draft out of McNeese State, was cut yesterday as the Eagles trimmed their roster down to 53.

Smith was an undersized end who never showed the burst or strength to play at the NFL level. When he came to town last season the Eagles didn’t seem to know what to do with him.

Bulk him up and keep him at end, or try to convert him to some kind of pass rushing outside linebacker (since that worked so well with Chris Gocong).

Ultimately the Eagles decided on bulking him up, and that, combined with the obviously superior offensive tackles he was facing, exposed Smith’s inability to turn the corner rushing the passer, or set the edge against the run.

Two more of Philadelphia’s 2008 draft picks, cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu and guard Mike Gibson, were also released yesterday.

Ikegwuonu, Reid’s second 4th-round pick who was making his come back after blowing out his knee before the 2008 draft, got roasted in the preseason, and wasn’t able to recapture the potential he displayed at Wisconsin. Chances are he may land on the practice squad.

Gibson, drafted in the 6th-round, was just a body among the seemingly dozens of lineman Reid likes to bring into camp every year. He did nothing to distinguish himself during his stay here.

The release of Ikegwuonu and Gibson aren’t terrible. Ikegwuonu was a risk worth taking for Reid, and may still pay off if he sticks on the practice squad and continues to learn.

The release of Smith hurts. Depth is built around 2nd and 3rd-rounders, and Reid can’t afford to keep missing so badly with these picks. Since 2004 he’s selected Matt Ware, Ryan Moats, Matt McCoy, Reggie Brown, Winston Justice, and Tony Hunt with 2nd and 3rd-round picks.

I realize no one is perfect, and I can certainly point to teams who’ve drafted worse, but for some reason Reid’s batting average with these high picks has suffered over the past several seasons.

And I know I’m dwelling on the negative here. I could point to DeSean Jackson, Gocong, and Stewart Bradley as picks who have worked out. But what fun would that be?

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