5 forgotten former members of the Vikings – Part 3

(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Jerome Simpson
(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Jerome Simpson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Andre Smith /

Andre Smith – OT

It’s easy to forget that Andre Smith played for the Vikings, as he lasted just four games, but this guy was a pretty big deal at one point. Smith was seen as the best run-blocking tackle in the 2009 NFL Draft and the Bengals took him with the sixth overall choice.

That was a bit surprising as Smith looked extremely out of shape at the Scouting Combine and had a horrible workout. His Pro Day did little to change that opinion and there was a strong assumption he would slide down the board. That didn’t happen and he was immediately thrust into the Bengals’ lineup when the season started.

Smith’s career got off to a rough start as he first held out and then fractured his foot. He also suffered injuries in his second season, and after his first two years in the league, he played in just 13 games with five starts.

Things got better in year three as Smith began looking more like the player the team envisioned with the sixth pick. He started 68 games over the next five years, helping the Bengals reach the playoffs.

The Vikings signed Smith in 2016 to a one-year deal worth up to $3.5 million. They should’ve looked at his injury history prior to that move, as his tenure in purple was cut short with a triceps injury after Week 4 of the 2016 season.

He was placed on injured reserve and the following season went back to the Bengals. He bounced around from the Bengals to the Arizona Cardinals, to the Bengals (again), and then the Baltimore Ravens. He opted out in 2020 and he will have to fight to make the Ravens roster this season.