As most of you probably know by now, the 2009 NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow afternoon from New York City, and unlike last year Alabama fans have a more personal interest in the proceedings.
Outland Trophy winner Andre Smith has had an absolute meltdown from the end of the SEC Championship Game to now, but he nevertheless still looks to go very high tomorrow. Yes he has some character and conditioning concerns, and yes some people worry about him playing left tackle, but the upside is just so tremendous at one of the game's most important positions, and to that end it seems like NFL GM's just cannot let him slide very far.
Of the teams in the top five, Andre probably is not in good shape. Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe will almost certainly go in the top five before him, but Andre has been predicted as going to the Bengals with the #6 pick in many mock drafts. Also, as PFT reported earlier today, there are a lot of rumblings that the Bills will try to trade up into the top five to leapfrog the Bengals in order to land Andre.
Nevertheless, even if neither of those two things come to fruition, don't expect Andre to stick around long. The Raiders at #7, the Packers at #9, and the 49ers at #10 have all shown considerable interest, and he is clearly at a need position for all three teams. Moreover, even if the Bills do not trade up and leapfrog the Bengals in order to nab Andre, they certainly will not let him go by if he falls to them at #11.
All in all, Andre could probably go somewhere in the bottom end of the top five with a Bills trade, with the smart money still being on the Bengals at #6, and a worst-case scenario probably having him going at #11 overall to the Bills. Either way, tune in early to the Draft if you want to see Andre, he's not going to be waiting around very long.