With the 21st pick of the 2009 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith.
Here is n4ry4's reasoning for the pick:
I didn't think Andre Smith would last this long. Even with all of his documented poor decisions (getting suspended for contacting an agent, leaving the combine early, supposed weight issues), the fact remains that he was a dominant player in a tough conference at the most important position on the O-Line.
At #21, Andre Smith will be a very good value pick for the Eagles.
When I look at the state of Philadelphia's offensive line going into the draft, two things that stand out are need and versatility. Need, because long-time Eagles and former Pro Bowl Tackles Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas departed in the offseason. Versatility, because Stacy Andrews, Shawn Andrews and Todd Herremans are all capable of playing either Guard or Tackle. Philadelphia could surely use a young, big-impact lineman, but is not limited to upgrading one particular position.
As long as his new employer can help Andre Smith shore up some of his decision-making and keep him in good playing shape, he can be a huge (literally) asset to their O-Line. Smith is a thick, mauling, powerful tackle who moves very well for a guy his size. The big question is whether he has what it takes to play on the left side at the NFL level as well as he could in college. The good news for Philadelphia is that they don't have to answer that question right away. They have enough guys on their line that can shift to different positions to best maximize Smith's potential and mitigate his weaknesses. If he doesn't end up on the left side immediately he can certainly make a huge impact on the right side or the interior.
Bottom line, when an upper-first-round talent like Andre Smith, who is built like a Guard, strong enough to play any position on the O-Line, but athletic enough to stand out at Left Tackle for a big college program, falls to #21, Philadelphia won't regret taking him.
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