I mentioned earlier that the St. Louis Rams are one of ten teams that have a private meeting scheduled with Missouri DE Aldon Smith. Not surprisingly, they had people from the organization on hand today at Smith's pro day. That news was revealed today at the Blaine Gabbert show, er, I mean the Missouri pro day event. And just how did Smith perform at Mizzou's pro day?
Reviews were decidedly mixed. Tony Pauline from SI.com raved about Smith's workout today. Here's what he said about what Smith had to show today in Columbia:
Really not known as a strong defender, Smith showed violent hand punch in the bag drills. Scouts think the 262-pound redshirt sophomore is an exciting prospect who will only get better as he physically matures. After today, Smith, who stood on his 40 time from the combine (4.74), looks like a top-15 choice.
Rob Rang tells the tale of two different evaluators. The guy from the 3-4 team loved what he saw, and said that as Smith bulks up he'll be an outstanding rush linebacker. The 4-3 guy had a different opinion. Citing stiffness in his hips, i.e. he can't bend, and said that Smith was strictly limited to playing DE in a 4-3 defense. That same source called Smith a second or third round pick.
You can pretty much mark it that Smith will be a first round pick. Mike Mayock called him a top 15 pick after his workout today. It seems like the majority of people out there see Smith as a legitimate NFL pass rusher, though, and when you see him play, it's hard to argue with that. Smith told the press at the Combine that he feels most comfortable in a 4-3 since that what the Tigers ran in college.
Back to Pauline, who praised Missouri C Tim Barnes for his workout today. Barnes snapped the ball out of the shotgun for most of his college career, but worked with Gabbert's hands under his crotch today and looked good doing it, according to Pauline. At 6'3" 300 lbs, Barnes probably isn't a guard.
I've got more from the call with Goodell to hit you with tomorrow, specifically his and Jeff Pash's remarks about stadium construction, the CBA and some thoughts on what that might mean for Stan Kroenke and the Rams. I'm too pooped to get into stadium/labor talk tonight.