More on Smith in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The second overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft climbed atop the franchise’s Pantheon of Failures.
Written by Jeff Gorden St .Louis Post-Dispatch
The Rams have done a consistently poor job of drafting since the Mad Mike Martz Era, when Super Bowl architect Charley Armey somehow lost control over personnel. The franchise has made some memorable blunders at the draft since then, overreaching and gambling and generally missing the boat.
But Smith turned out to be the biggest mistake of them all.
Once upon a time, Smith played tight end for Baylor. Then he added muscle and moved to tackle. The Rams saw him as a uniquely athletic prospect. General manager Billy Devaney believed Smith could grow into something special. Smith didn’t. A spate of nasty concussions further limited his development. Smith immediately fell to the second unit behind failed Chiefs tackle Barry Richardson during Jeff Fisher’s first training camp as the new coaches discovered his same old shortcomings.
The following assessment from Smith’s NFL.com draft profile proved prescient: “Raw in his pass-set technique, standing a bit upright and backpedaling instead of sliding to mirror his man. Locks onto his man at first, but eventually loses his balance and grip due to his average upper-body strength and footwork. Does not have much of a punch in pass protection. Can lose the hands battle on the line.”
That sounds like Jason Smith all right. Alex Barron wasn’t great during his penalty-prone five years as a Ram, but at least he wasn’t helpless against the pass rush.
You be hard-pressed to name a more disappointing recent Rams draft pick than Jason Smith.