Sorry, Buckeye fans, but NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock says Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith is two or three years away from making it as an NFL quarterback. Mayock, who works for NFL Network, says Smith's biggest problem is being only six feet tall.
"I really like what I've seen on him on tape," Mayock said Saturday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. "Having said that, I didn't get too carried away when he was Superman and I didn't get too disappointed when he had a bad (BCS championship) Bowl game, because I think I know what he is on tape.
"He makes a large majority of his plays outside the tackle box. He struggles to find vision within the pocket. There is short list of six-foot quarterbacks out there. You have to be real good. I think he's probably a third round pick. I think two or three years from now, he's so athletic, smart and tough that he'll have an opportunity to play."
The Buckeyes had a record of 25-3 with Smith at quarterback
Be on guard
Mayock did have a good report about how quickly the Browns could improve the offensive line. Fans clamoring for help up front could get their wish.
"If you're looking for interior offensive linemen, you can get healthy pretty quickly," Mayock said. "I think (USC Center) Ryan Kalil is the best technician of all the offensive linemen in the country.
"Justin Blalock (Texas) is a right tackle who can move inside. Arron Sears is a tackle from Tennessee who can kick inside. Ben Grubbs (Auburn) is a natural guard. I think you can go 8, 9, 10, 11 players deep in that center-guard group and walk away with a day-one starter if you pick the right guy for your scheme offensively."
The Browns could have as many as four new starters on the line next year. There is no guarantee center Hank Fraley will sign a new contract before free agency starts Friday. Cosey Coleman will be a free agent. Left guard Joe Andruzzi is battling injuries in both knees and right tackle is up in the air because of the uncertainty of Ryan Tucker's mental condition. Tucker missed the last five game of 2006 with what the Browns said is a mental disorder.