Pro Days are usually where the lower tier players, many times seniors, can showcase their abilities and try to fight their way onto teams' draft boards. Sometimes, injured players who do not participate in drills at the combine will take part in drills.
The University of Alabama had their Pro Day on Wednesday, and on display was Andre Smith. Smith was, as recently as early February, considered the best offensive tackle in this year's deep draft class and a potential candidate to be selected first overall.
Then Smith disappeared from a combine that he reportedly showed up at out of shape. And, to make matters worse, he didn't tell anyone when or why he was leaving.
So Wednesday suddenly became a critical showcase for Smith, who stands to potentially lose millions of dollars for his combine fiasco.
Two statistics that are measured that have some bearing on the quality of a tackle are their 40-yard dash time and the number of reps they bench press 225 pounds.
Here is the context into which Smith was now bringing his abilities: Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe have now, in the eyes of most analysts, eclipsed Andre Smith.
Jason Smith ran a 5.22 and did 33 reps; Monroe ran a similar 5.23 and posted 23 reps.
Eben Britton, another tackle being considered more of a late-first round candidate, ran a 5.16 and did 24 reps. Michael Oher, also a first round tackle possibility, ran a 5.23 and put up 21 reps.
On Wednesday, Andre Smith ran the 40 in 5.28 and 5.33 seconds, and put up only 19 reps on the bench press.
After a workout in which Andre Smith was described as being thinner than he was at the combine (he weighed in at 325 pounds, his lightest "in three years"), he answered a barrage of questions from representatives of almost every NFL team. Most of these questions surrounded his disappearance from the combine, not his ability to zone block or pull in front of a running back.
Smith will undoubtedly be selected in the first round in late April, but where he hears his name called is a different story. By waiting until Alabama's Pro Day, he set the expectations high for a performance that, given his circumstances, needed to wow the attendees. He didn't accomplish that.