Is Donovan Smith a Plot by the Bucs to Collect Jameis Winston’s Life Insurance?
Former Penn State Traffic Cone Donovan Smith did not sparkle in his pro debut with the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers who apparently had great expectations when they drafted him 34th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. The 6′ 6″, 338-pound Smith entered the game in the second quarter, replacing Kevin Pamphile, with whom he is battling for the offensive left tackle position. Things went downhil for Donovan right from the start.
Smith got a heavy dose of NFL talent last night as he faced off against Minnesota Viking starting defensive end Everson Griffen, for whom he was no match head-to-head. On Donovan’s first play after entering the game, a passing down, Griffen faked Smith right out of his jockstrap with a simple but effective inside clockwise spin move that left Donovan blocking air while Griffen was planting Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston firmly into terra firma as if he hadn’t been impeded in the slightest at the line of scrimmage. No one watching on TV had any doubt about who was responsible for the sack. Donovan Smith’s job is to protect Winston, pure and simple, and he didn’t.
Everyone gets beaten from time to time, but this one was ugggggggglyyyy!
Partisan Tampa Bay Bucs blogs called Griffen’s twirl a “brilliant spin move”; I say it’s day-to-day business in the NFL. After that debacle, the Tampa Bay defensive brain trust saw fit to double-team Griffen while Smith was struggling. That doesn’t portend well for Smith’s position battle. The 6′ 3″, 273-pound Everson Griffen is a defensive end anyone would like to have, sure, but his skill level is not uncommon in the NFL. Griffen was a fourth-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2010.
While Griffen gives up three inches in height and sixty-five pounds of meat to Donovan Smith, it is clear that standing there like a concrete statue ain’t going to git ‘er done in the NFL.
Donovan’s problems at Penn State centered on showing up for every game mentally and maintaining consistent mental focus. Last night we saw Smith reverting to form when, in his first NFL play from scrimmage, he fell asleep for a split-second at the wrong time. In a league where milliseconds count that was enough to precipitate a catastrophe. (Or not, depending on what you think of Jameis Winston.) Let us hope that Donovan Smith indeed gets the message in the same way that Jesse James did: The NFL is no league for slackers!