So, it looks like I didn’t miss much, did I? The Cincinnati Bengals hung in there at No. 6 and selected Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith.
The only slight surprise was that they passed on Virginia’s Eugene Monroe to do it, though I half-expected that would happen if both were on the board. Monroe would have been the safer choice, while Smith may end up being the better pro — with the proper development. And that, of course, is what’s worried me all along. As Football Outsiders’ Mike Tanier wrote a couple days ago, it’s what happens after the draft that counts the most.
The first step, of course, will be getting him into camp. If the Bengals want him to contribute in 2009, that has to happen as soon as possible. A holdout just means our first-rounder spends lots of time on the sideline this coming season. And the sooner they can get Andre into a focused, structured program, the better, given his performance since the college season ended.
Kudos to the mockosphere for predicting that Monroe would drop to Cincinnati.
One Man Crime Wave is good with the pick.
Bengal Stripes would have taken Monroe.
C. Trent, who was pushing Smith before the draft, reports that Andre was No. 1 or No. 2 on the Bengals’ board.
The Chickster says the Bengals did the right thing.
Master of the obvious James Walker calls the pick risky. Like there’s any top 8 or 10 selection these days that isn’t.
New poll on Andre Smith is up. Tell me how you feel!
ALEXANDER ON SMITH
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis expects Smith to start on opening day this year. Here’s offensive line coach Paul Alexander on Smith:
"“He can knock them back better than anyone in this draft.”“But they [Smith and former Bengals Pro Bowl RT Willie Anderson] share the same trait of (understanding how to block)…”Alexander said he was extremely influenced not only by the recommendations of Saban, but also ‘Bama offensive line coach Joe Pendry.“I trust him a lot. If you know Joe, he never sugarcoats anything. He’s not one to lie,” Alexander said. “He said the kid was great.”"