Evan Dietrich-Smith 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card
1) Introduction: Dietrich-Smith is one of those guys that unexpectedly hang around for a few years (even after being cut once) and finally get their chance. When Jeff Saturday wore down last season, the Packers promoted Dietrich-Smith to starter for game 15. Smith was expected to compete with some UDFA centers and conversion project draftee JC Tretter in camp, but won the job by default when Tretter went down in July with a broken fibula. He’s received a vote of confidence from Aaron Rodgers, who badly wants to not have to work with a new center every year.
- Age: 27
- Born: 7/19/1986 in Salinas, CA
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 308
- College: Idaho St.
- Rookie Year: 2009
- NFL Experience: 4 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Dietrich Smith was being looked upon to continue his steady, if not impressive, play manning the center of the Packers’ offensive line. Improving his run blocking and his knowledge of the offense was a priority for 2013.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: According to ProFootballFocus. Dietrich-Smith had his worst game against the Ravens, but I’m going to go with the Cincinnati game as his low light. The Packers offensive line struggled mightily against the Bengals’ front (except for TJ Lang, who completely shut out Geno Atkins). Dietrich-Smith was charged with two of the Bengal’s four sacks and had a negative grade in run blocking, as well. His season highlight would have to be how he finished out the season in the run blocking department. Over the last three games, Dietrich-Smith was more effective at winning his battles than he had been all season.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Aaron Rodgers has said he considers the center position one of the most important of the offensive 11. Certainly, when Dietrich-Smith missed parts of two games, the results (with TJ Lang at emergency center) were less than stellar (remember the Thanksgiving Day massacre?). Dietrich-Smith brought a measure of reliability to the center position, although I wouldn’t say he played at a high level.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Dietrich-Smith did not allow a sack or a quarterback hit against the 49ers. As previously mentioned, his run blocking was better than usual against a tough 49er defensive line.
Season Report Card:
(C) Level of expectations met during the season
(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C+) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: C——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.