Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith To Enter Draft

JANUARY 11: Smith has announced (via Twitter) that he’ll enter the 2016 draft, despite his knee injury. A Friday report indicated that surgery on that torn ACL and MCL went about as well as could be expected, so perhaps the linebacker’s stock won’t slip too significantly.

JANUARY 5: Notre Dame outside linebacker Jaylon Smith will undergo reconstructive left knee surgery on Thursday, sources tell’s Chris Mortensen (on Twitter). Smith was projected to go somewhere in the top 10 in this year’s draft by many pundits. Now, it’s unclear whether he’ll declare for the draft at all. Jaylon Smith (vertical)

[RELATED: Top 20 Teams Set For 2016 NFL Draft]

Smith was said to have suffered a “significant knee injury” during his team’s bowl game against Ohio State on New Year’s Day. Smith, a junior, was expected to be drafted near the top end of the first round — Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, for example, had Smith rated as his No. 2 overall player. Now facing a major injury and recovery time, Smith could either declare for the draft and get himself guaranteed money as he rehabs or return to school in an effort to be a top ten selection in 2017.

The most recent example of a top collegiate prospect suffering a knee injury is, of course, Todd Gurley, who was drafted with the 10th overall pick after tearing his ACL. However, these are two separate cases. Gurley, a running back, suffered his injury in mid-November, not January, and was considered a generational talent. Smith might not be regarded as a slam-dunk prospect to begin with, so it’s hard to say where his stock would be for this year’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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8 comments on “Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith To Enter Draft

  1. Bazingaa

    That’s a shame, was hoping for the Ravens to take him.

  2. 3Tavgreg

    If the Bills give Whaley a contract extension they’re crazy.

  3. Why would the Ravens take another lb it’s almost 100% certain they take a we

  4. Wr

  5. Such a shame that a potential top 5 pick is going to drop. I can see a a team scooping him up in the third to fifth rounds depending on his rehab timetable. I don’t think he’s a first or second rounder unless a team has a need for a LB and are willing to take a chance.

  6. Gogerty

    Because their defense was terrible last year. Need to bolster the defense. Smith will be back next year and hopefully him, Flacco, and a RB will be healthy.

  7. Trent Baalke will take him in the 2nd round. I think there is a clause in his contract that says he must draft an injured player every year.

  8. tater777

    could Chicago Bears be a dark horse to scoop him in the 2nd or 3rd round?

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