Tyler Smith was drafted with our first pick because he has the size, speed, strength, and metrics to be a starting tackle in this league sooner than later. Linemen don't get drafted in the first round to be bench warmers. The best way to get experience is to get out there and play. Worried that he can't do the job? Well, let's look at our toughest division rival and see how they handled their rookie linemen.
Lane Johnson: Came into camp as the #2 RT, won the job and started every game his rookie year. I think we know how good he is. He claims that being thrown into the fire his rookie year helped him become one of the best tackles in the game (can't believe he didn't make the top 100 list).
Landon Dickerson: Played RG, transferred to Alabama, played center. Had two major injuries in college. Drafted in the second round. Moved to LG, a position he never played. Took over LG the third game of the season after Seumalo was injured. Started every game after. Seumalo was moved to RG this year because Dickerson was so good by the end of the year.
Jordan Mailata: A freaking rugby player who didn't even touch a football until 2018. NFL scouts evaluated Mailata as a 5.5 prospect grade, which equates to a practice-squad player with a chance to make the bottom-end of the official NFL roster. Lurie told Jeff Stoutland (O-line coach) to check him out at the NFL's international facility in Tampa. Kept him around,and were still unsure enough to draft Andre Dillard. Dillard didn't perform as expected (would start for us though), and Mailata was thrust into the backup role. In 2020, Mailata would end up starting a game for Jason Peters, on his 842nd injury. Mailata himself would be injured and miss time, but played in 10 or 11 games as the starter. In 2021, he was named the starter. The rest is history. They put him out there and he rose to the occasion. He now projects as a Pro Bowl player.
Jason Kelce: 6th round pick that only played center for one year in college and weighed less that 300 pounds. They threw him into the fire. He ended up startng all 16 games as a rookie (like Lane Johnson) and hasn't given up since. He's probably going to be in the HoF.
Isaac Seumalo: A center who was a 3rd round pick (2016) and moved to guard. Played an active role as a backup all year, would end up a starter at guard for 14 games, including in the Super Bowl. Has battled injuries off and on, but is now their RG.
Notice something? The Eagles were not afraid to put rookies on the field and play. Why can't we do that? I know Jeff Stoutland is probably the best O-line coach in the game, but do our coaches suck so badly that we can't get players ready to step in? ***? They are starting a former rugby player at LT who didn't really play meaningful games until two years ago. We can't start a guy who played football all his life??? Put him out there and let's see what he has.