Jason Smith, the second overall pick in the 2009 draft, is in the mix for the left tackle job in New Orleans.
But he’s got considerable work to do to shed the draft bust label he’s been wearing since fizzling out with the St. Louis Rams. The Saints lost left tackle Jermon Bushrod via free agency to the Chicago Bears and they have a couple options with Charles Brown being the leading candidate for the job. Smith and rookie Terron Armstead are also in the mix.
Smith is flying under the radar at this point and that’s probably best for him.
“I think oftentimes, you take a peek at a player that was selected as high as he was and graded out as high as he was," Saints coach Sean Payton said, according to Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "He is a tremendous worker and has athletic ability. So it's another opportunity, and it's oftentimes you are able to get a player maybe his second time around or third time around that can come in and find a niche."
The Rams swapped Smith to the New York Jets last season in a trade for their disappointing tackle Wayne Hunter. Smith was used in a reserve role and he played in some heavy packages. He’d like to get re-established in New Orleans but the line situation isn’t going to play out until the pads come on in training camp and preseason.
According to Triplett, Smith didn’t have a lot to say, choosing to discuss his faith more than where his career has taken him to this point. We’ll see if his play can speak for him.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune