Former Raiders tackle Willie Smith currently en route to San Diego. Not practice squad eligible. Would be addition to 53-man roster.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) November 12, 2013
Obviously, this doesn't mean that Willie Smith is on the San Diego Chargers just yet. This could be a tryout, for all we know, and I'll label it as such until more news breaks on the matter.
Now, let's break down Willie Smith.
- At 6'5" and 310 lbs., he is the appropriate size for an offensive tackle.
- He did not make the Oakland Raiders this season, after playing in 8 games for them at right tackle last season.
- According to Pro Football Focus, Smith was the 75th best offensive tackle in 2012 among 80 who qualified. He was worse than Jeromey Clary (39th), but better than Michael Harris (80th).
- In 2011, Smith participated in four games at left tackle for the Raiders. Due to him playing less snaps, the number of qualified tackles to compare him to jumps from 80 to 150. In 2011, he was the 134th best offensive tackle in the league.
So, the 26 year old out of East Carolina has struggled at both left tackle and right tackle. My assumption is that he's being brought in as depth in case King Dunlap needs to be put on IR, which will be determined once the Chargers training staff learns how to do a concussion test.
What does this mean for the future of the Chargers offensive line? Well, nothing, really. It means that Tom Telesco wanted someone with experience at both tackle spots, is my guess, just in case D.J. Fluker is a trainwreck over there. However, I'm assuming Dunlap being gone for the second half of the season would mean that Fluker would move to LT and Clary over to RT until more injuries occur.
More from Bolts From The Blue:
- Week 10 Grades: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
- San Diego Chargers Daily Links: November 12, 2013
- Bolts & Dolts: Chargers did few things right in loss to Broncos
- A Formal Complaint Concerning Ladarius Green's Playing Time
- Chargers-Broncos final score: Denver holds on to win 28-20 over San Diego