10

February

Evan Dietrich-Smith 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers OL Evan Dietrich-Smith

Packers OL Evan Dietrich-Smith

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.

2) Profile:

Evan Dietrich-Smith

  • Age: 27
  • Born: 7/19/1986 in Salinas, CA
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 308
  • College: Idaho St.
  • Rookie Year: 2009
  • NFL Experience: 4 years

Career Stats and more

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

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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.

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27 Responses to “Evan Dietrich-Smith 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card”

  1. Ed Schoenfeld says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

    • Stroh says:

      I don’t disagree, however I am fairly comfortable going w/ Tretter at Center too. He’s an Ivy Leaguer, so his intelligence can’t be questioned and he would have 2 very good OG’s to help him make the calls which would make his job much easier and allow for a smoother transition. If we can get EDS for less than 4M per I would sign him. If he wants more let him walk and get Tretter ready.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

      • Ed Schoenfeld says:

        My comment wasn’t so much based on the skill of the player as what kind of a clue we will get about TTs plans based on what happens with him in free agency.

        If TT is comfortable promoting Tretter without the kid ever having played a down, we will get the ‘clue’ based on whether or not EDS gets re-signed. That’s why EDS is “important” this offseason, which is not the same as saying he is the “most talented” Packer UFA.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Dobber says:

    So, for an interior line that was one of the better groups in the league in 2013, EDS gets a C? I’ll be curious to see how Lang and Sitton grade out, because this implies that those two carried him all year.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. Tarynfor12 Tarynfor12 says:

    I was in Ed-S corner for him to start before the signing of Saturday and felt that could have hurt him not only in confidence but to even remain on the team(many wanted him cut) which would have proven catastrophic since Saturday was horrible on Sundays.
    I’m sure Rodgers has enough faith in him but could that be merely due to not wanting another change or if he really sees a multi-year marriage of compatibility and higher play.I would assume there are better but would envision either ED-S,Trettor or mister rotation himself Lang being what we will see bending over for Rodgers.
    The paycheck that Ed-S wants may have him moving out and having TT look for another OL guy to learn the position but I find that unlikely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Scheny Schen says:

    As was the case with Scott wells, TT will not break the bank for eds. I like him and hope we can keep him. I think it’s true, however, that home fans view the teams players in a higher light than other teams in the league. I think eds comes back. – actually kind of excited for our OLine if it ends up being bak,sitton,Eds,Lang,bulaga, with Sherrod/Barclay/tretter backing up. That way we have a dedicated tackle,guard,center backup rather than shifting the line if anyone gets hurt. GoPack!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. Big T says:

    I can see TT letting EDS walk, which is fine, he isn’t a star Center…average at best. What kills me is the fact that TT will bend over backwards for Newhouse, they have a weird relationship. What is up with those 2?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    • Stroh says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

      • Big T says:

        So you think McCarthy makes all the decisions. And I am the one that doesn’t make sense. That’s a good one Stroh…
        EDS MIGHT leave but that’s entirely based on what he wants/gets in FA. SURE has nothing to do with what TT wants or will offer him. Yep you definately make a lot of sense Stroh..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

        • Tarynfor12 Tarynfor12 says:

          I read where Stroh mentions ‘who starts’ and not who is retained.

          ” As for who starts… That’s McCarthy’s decsison, not Thompson’

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

          • Big T says:

            Do you believe that TT could influence McCarthy’s decision? I wasn’t aware that McCarthy ran the whole show. That’s a lot of power for one man.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            • Stroh says:

              Who EVER said that? You don’t read much do you? Or is it comprehension you have a problem with?

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

              • Big T says:

                Stroh, read your post that is hidden due to low comment rating. Then you should be able to figure it out. If you need more help let me know…

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. majik says:

    Average player….for a big guy, he gets put on his arse far too often. Lang, Barclay and tretter make him expendable. Save that money for other areas on D.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. majik says:

    Average player….for a big guy, he gets put on his arse far too often. Lang, Barclay and tretter make him expendable. Save that money for other areas on D.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Since '61 says:

    I may have gone with a C+ for EDS. However, what is important here is that we need better play from the center position. If we get Bulaga and Sherrod back healthy next year our OL can be pretty strong and we can have Bak, Barclay and Tretter as backups unless Bak starts over Sherrod, which is also fine. In this scenario, EDS, as Center, he actually becomes the weakest link on the OL. I’m fine if we can re-sign him for $4M or less. But if not let him go. Whether EDS is back or not I would like to see the Packers draft an actual Center and develop him as Rodgers center for the rest of ARs career. That would make most sense to me and solidify the position for Rodgers. I would have preferred that this happen when Wells left and by now we would have a solid center. But TT went with Saturday’s experience so here we are. Perfect result would be to re- sign EDS at the right price and draft a center who steps in full time for 2015 and the next 5-8 seasons, or as long as AR plays. Thanks, Since ’61

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • Razer says:

      Totally agree with Since 61′s sentiment. I would like to see an actual center play the position. I also would have liked much of this to happen back when Wells was still in the mix. We keep losing years to training undrafted free agents and getting them to serviceable levels then losing them because they really aren’t worth much more than their journeyman salary. Hey, I appreciate that EDS is a scrapper but, he has hit his ceiling and our O-line has leveled out at average. “C” says it all

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      • JeffN says:

        I like what you guys are saying here but I think they could actually resign EDS for more like 2 to 3 million per year and I think they should do that because there really is not a lot of depth on the interior line and Tretter is not quit ready yet. So resign EDS for a 2 year maybe 3 year deal would make sense. I really don’t think any team in Free Agency is going to give EDS big money so it makes sense for him as well to stay in GB.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

        • Razer says:

          If it can be done, I agree with the resigning at the 2-3 million range. If we don’t, we hit reset and roll the dice again. It would be nice to field a decent OLine for a couple of straight years. Both the run game and pass protection would take another step forward.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • JimR_in_DC says:

      I also agree with Since ’61, except that I think Bakhtiari gives EDS competition for the weakest link on the OL. He did an admirable job as a rookie, but I’m not completely sure I want to see him as a starter. I’d like to see what Sherrod offers, either as LT or RT.

      Getting back to the center position, I think EDS is OK, and that he deserves the grade Jersey Al gave him.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  9. Chad Lundberg says:

    Graded as the 8th best overall center in the NFL by PFF. I HAVE TO disagree with the C grading here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Dobber says:

      Usually I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to PFF because, for many positions, they don’t take nearly enough variables into account. But for the OL, there are very few stats and it’s hard to come up with metrics for comparative OL play. I tend to put a little more faith in them here because there’s not much else to use. That said, I agree with you Chad.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. SchenySchen says:

    I don’t think TT will spend $4million on him. This is a guy that made less than 1.5 this past year (I think). I could see an offer of 2.8-3.4 and if we lose him, we move Tretter in with Lang as our backup C. Too many current and future financial obligations to give too much to EDS. GoPack!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. GBPDAN says:

    I’d give him a B- , C+

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  12. Dobber says:

    Now that the grades for Lang and Sitton are in, it appears that the opinion of the raters here is that EDS is only average and that the quality of the interior OL is strictly a function of two very good OGs playing alongside him.

    If that’s the case, can’t the Packers do better? Why would they throw very much money at EDS at all if even an average player at the position makes the interior line one of the better position units in the league?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Bdhustle says:

    Agree that EDS is an average center. C grade seems correct. Would resign at the right price. However,I’ve seen sites that rate him as the second best FA center after Mack. As such he may attract an offer for more than TT feels he’s worth. It’s probably 50/50 that he’s a Packer in 2014.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. Lefty says:

    Think a Center in the 4th or 5th Round is pretty good value. Don’t think a lot of drafted Centers are busts. And GB will get at least a compensatory pick at the end of Round 4. Good spot for a Center. Would like to see what the RB’s could do with a big Center & 6’5/6’6 players like Bulaga & Sherrod on the field.

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