We touched on this last night, but we think it’s worth another blog. The most amazing story in this draft has to be Andre Smith, who despite leaving the Combine and having a bad Pro Day, still managed to get picked sixth overall by the Bengals on Saturday.
We sat down with Rick Smith (no relation), who actually became Smith’s agent this past Tuesday.
Darren: I know you have only been with Andre for days, but how did he manage to salvage what could have been a monumental loss of money for him?
Smith:It started with team officials understanding the fact that he responds well to the type of discipline that Nick Saban gave him at Alabama. And he doesn’t do as well when he’s off on his own. They knew that when he was in a structured, disciplined environment, he would be a star.
Darren: What did it for Cincinnati? Because we didn’t see anything that would have made it obvious.
Smith: It was really the surprise weigh-in that happened on Thursday. The Bengals put him on the scale and he came in at 337 pounds. (Smith weighed as high as 380 pounds, at one point.)
Darren: It was being said that his conduct at the Combine could have put him to the bottom of the first round. There’s a lot of misinformation. Was this information accurate?
Smith:It was absolutely accurate. He was definitely in jeopardy of losing a lot of money. Last year’s 28th pick overall was guaranteed $6,060,000 and got a max of $11.2 million. Last year’s No. 6 pick got a guaranteed $21 million and a maximum of $50 million. That would have been a lot of money to leave on the table.
Darren: But people are still confused. We’ve been told that if you don’t have a good Combine, you always have Pro Day. And if you don’t have a good Pro Day, you’ll slip. He had neither. How did Andre get the benefit of the doubt?
Smith:Film. You can see he’s unbelievably talented. He’s an elite Pro Bowl-type player who can play at a high level.
Darren: How much do you credit you and your team at Priority Sports for Andre staying up at the top of the Draft?
Smith:I would say that we completed the puzzle. We helped give teams the comfort that they needed.
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