Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith is already out for the 2016 NFL season.
While the NFL Draft is right around the corner, and the dreams of hundreds of college players are about to be realized, not everyone is having a good time. Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith is the epitome of what can happen to a guy who suffers an injury at the wrong time as he’s about to take his career to the professional level.
Smith suffered a torn ACL and MCL during the Fiesta Bowl back in January and hasn’t been able to rehab enough to impress NFL scouts. It now appears that the nerve damage Smith suffered is going to keep him out of the NFL for at least one more year as he works his way back
According to Rapoport, Smith is expected to miss the entire 2016 season thanks to his injury.
This is just utterly gutting for Smith. He was once believed to be a top 5 pick but now risks even being drafted. That’s the fringe extreme of his situation, but you can’t blame a team for passing on a guy who will miss an entire season when you can take someone who will play, then sign Smith later.
Of course, Smith is supposed to get back to his usual self in 2017 — but is that risk worth a pick in this years draft? There’s no certainty that Smith will ever be the player he was once thought the be on his way to becoming, but this is a different age when it comes to sports science so his stock might not be as damaged as it might be had this happened 10 years ago.
Still, Smith is a wild card in the NFL Draft. He’ll get drafted somewhere still relatively high but the risk/reward status he carries might come to define his early career success.
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