In 2009, Jason Smith was the second player chosen in the NFL Draft.
This year, his latest coach is talking about him the way you’d talk about an undrafted rookie.
As MDS mentioned in the one-liners, offensive tackle Jason Smith is trying to shake the draft bust label that was rightly applied to him with the Saints, and they seem receptive.
“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, via 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.”
Smith never justified the pick the Rams invested in him, and the Jets let him walk after he was sent there in a swap of bad ideas.
Now, the Saints are letting him compete for the starting left tackle job with Charles Brown and rookie Terron Armstead, a competition Payton said was “absolutely” open.
Smith was reflective when asked about his journey, talking about religion and making his plight seem more dramatic than perhaps it is.
“Upon the moment I received salvation, I understood that my calling is now to suffer, just like Christ did. That’s who I am,” Smith said. “So therefore, what I went through, my experiences, whether it be football or life, it brought me to a point of patience. So with patience I have experience, and with experience I have hope. And hope makes me not ashamed of what I went through.
“So everything I went through has made me who I am as a person. As far as the football stuff, it’s still a day-to-day deal. As far as my life, it’s a day-to-day deal. So I desire to know God’s heart. That’s what my focus is.”
The Rams didn’t need him to save the souls of the world, they just needed him to block. The Saints are offering him another chance to do just that.