To say that the Eagles' pick of McNeese State DE Bryan Smith in the third round was a surprise is probably somewhat of an understatement. Coming from a small school, he simply wasn't a guy on most fans' radar... I'll be honest, I didn't know much about him and there's a limited amount of info out there about Bryan.
So I figured for this "a closer look" feature I'd seek out someone who does know a thing or two about Bryan Smith, like maybe someone who has seen every snap Bryan Smith has ever taken in college? I want to thank McNeese State Senior Associate Athletic Director and director of sports communication Louis Bonnette for taking the time to answer a few questions for BGN.
JasonB - When was the first play or game when the thought entered your mind that Brian Smith might be an NFL player?
Bonnette - It was his junior year and the game was against West Virginia Tech...that was our first game at home that year and even though it was against a NAIA school, they couldn't keep him out of their backfield....he set a school record with five sacks and had 10 total tackles.....he didn't play much in the second half
What was the level of interest NFL teams were showing in Brian before the draft? Were you surprised he went as high as the third round?
The feeling from most of the scouts that I talked to was that he would be a third or high fourth round pick...there were quite a few teams that had him go through personal workouts for them
Many reports said that NFL teams were scouting Brian as an outside linebacker prospect. However, the Eagles have stated that their intention is to keep him as a defensive end. Do you think Brian can bulk up and be a success at DE in the NFL?
I think that he can....he's 243 now and can get to 250 pounds without losing a step....reminds us a lot of Kavika Pittman who played here as a defensive end and went on to play for Dallas, Denver and Carolina
Finally, with such emphasis being put on character these days what are your impression of a Brian Smith as a person?
Bryan has always been very accomodating in anything that we wanted him to do in the way of helping provide publicity for team or school...he has always been very easy to work with and was always appreciative ... I think that he is A-1 as a person
I'd like to thank Mr Bonnette for his time and here's to Brian Smith doing McNeese State proud!