Andre Smith has been the league’s best right tackle for the past two seasons. Would you have predicted this after witnessing this glory at the combine in 2009?
After a long hold out and foot injury during his rookie season, Smith has completely turned his career around; becoming a strong blocker in the running game as well as in pass protection. He has lived up to the expectations of being a first-round pick. Last season, he allowed a total of only nine hits on the quarterback and committed four penalties.
What makes this difficult is the performance and improvement from Michael Johnson. He finished second on the Bengals with 11.5 sacks and made an impact on run defense. The concern is whether or not Johnson peaked in a contract year. His 2012 sack total nearly doubled his previous career high of six. Remember, Johnson was replaced by Frostee Rucker in 2011.