The Saints are continuing their signing streak of low-risk acquisitions, as the team has just signed former Rams’ 2nd overall pick, left tackle Jason Smith to a 1-year deal. Smith was viewed as a can’t-miss prospect coming out of Baylor in 2009. But after a serious head/back injury derailed his rookie season, he’s been a major bust since. After a few years of on-and-off play with the Rams, Smith struggled to stay healthy, never remotely living up to his billing. He was traded to the Jets last season in exchange for RT Wayne Hunter.
Smith received under 300 snaps with the Jets last season as a reserve swing tackle. But according to PFF and Jets’ message boards, Smith had a pretty solid season in 2012, overachieving low expectations, at least.
An optimistic Saints fan would say something along the lines of “We just picked up a former 2nd overall pick in terms of talent, who is still only 26 years old. We’ll turn his career around and Drew Brees will make him a Pro Bowler!”
But the reality is that, at best, Smith will likely compete for the starting left tackle position with Charles Brown (and a potential draft pick). Based on who is on the roster now, he’s the current start in my eyes. Either way, it’s a low-risk signing by the Saints that could yield fruit. As beat writer Larry Holder describes it, this is a “see if anything is there” signing. While it doesn’t address the left tackle position, it adds competition to the position battle.
And maybe if he scrapes off some of the dust and cobwebs from his worthless career thus far, he’ll rediscover some of the talent and potential that made him the 2nd overall pick just a few Aprils ago. And to Smith’s credit, the quarterbacks he’s had to block for include Mark Sanchez, Sam Bradford, Kyle Boller, Marc Bulger and AJ Feely. Drew Brees is a little better than they are, and that could make Smith look a lot better than he has in years past.
*Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Categories: The WHODAT Guide