Should the Redskins Take a Chance on Tackle, Jason Smith?

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Redskins need an upgrade at Right Tackle and the former first round pick was teammates with RGIII at Baylor in 2008. Here's more info on Smith' current situation.

The Redskins need a Right Tackle. This everyone knows. The Shanahans did a good job at making the offensive scheme work around the weak links, but Pro Football Focus has Polumbus rated as the 3rd worst free agent Tackle with a rating of -24.1.

So, what about Jason Smith? Pro Football Focus gave him a +6.4 rating with the 265 snaps he took for the Jets in 2012. He was due a $11.25 million roster bonus on March 12th, so his recent release from the Jets was as predictable as a Kai Forbath field goal attempt. Jason Smith's career in St. Louis is an odd one. He was drafted out of Baylor with the 2nd overall pick in 2009 after running the 11th fastest 40 time for a Tackle at the combine. Smith was beaten out for the Left Tackle job in 2010 by Rodger Saffold and moved over to the right side. A major concussion in his rookie year plagued him.

Jason Smith and RGIII overlapped at Baylor for one season in 2008. Robert Griffin III had 267 passing attempts over that time (59.9 completion percentage) and 843 rushing yards. Smith won All-American and First-team All Big 12 awards across the board that year.

That's about all I know, so I emailed the SB Nation writers for the Rams, Jets, and Baylor Bears for more intel on Smith:

Ryan Van Bibber (from the Rams' site, Turf Show Times):

Smith might be worth a cheap flyer, a tryout, but I would bet against him making the team and being of any use. In St. Louis, he seemed to lack a passion for the game; how else do you get shipped out, without saving any money on his rookie deal, in exchange for Wayne Hunter ... Wayne Hunter!

"He seemed to lack passion for the game." Hmm, Smith sounds like the perfect fit for the 2009 Redskins roster. That is an interesting point, but the Redskins also did trade peanuts for Rams' former first round pick Adam Carriker and he turned out to be a quality starter here in D.C. The Rams had a laughable 12 passing touchdowns in 2009 from three different QBs: Marc Bulger, Koyle Boller, and Keith Null. It seems like there's a lot of blame to go around there and things did get better in 2010 with Sam Bradford.

Scott Salmon (from Jets site, Gang Green Nation):

Smith was released because he was owed $12m, a leftover from his exorbitant rookie deal. He played well as a backup RT and as the jumbo TE. As John wrote about here, Smith did well as a run blocker in the jumbo role. I don't know how well he'd do in a ZBS, as the Jets primarily ran a man blocking scheme this past season.

Honestly, I don't know that he can hack it as a full time starter. He certainly struggled in that with the Rams, but it's possible Shanahan could turn him around. He obviously has tremendous upside though, as his draft pick suggests, but the knock on him is that he doesn't love football and thus harder to motivate.

I don't think he's the worst option available, and in fact due to his cost he may actually be the best, but I wouldn't expect him to be a long-term solution to your RT problem. Probably a stop-gap until a rookie can be drafted.

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