Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith – once considered a sure bet to be one of the top picks in this year’s draft – is expected to sit out next season as a result of the torn ACL and MCL he suffered New Year’s Day, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Smith’s medical re-check Friday didn’t look much different than the report from the combine, when he failed multiple teams’ physicals, tweets Rapoport. The news isn’t necessarily a death knell to Smith’s career, however, as Rapoport adds that “many teams” believe he’ll return to full strength come 2017. While Smith’s first-round hopes appear dashed, he’s still a possibility for Day 2 (the second or third round), per Rapoport (via Twitter). That, however, will hinge largely on a team’s willingness to make a high-risk, high-reward selection in the early going.
Here’s more of the latest draft news:
- The Cowboys have visited with and/or worked out Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Shepard put up tremendous production last season (86 catches, 1,288 yards, 11 touchdowns) and could be a fit for the Cowboys in the second round.
- In addition to the previously reported Lions, Auburn offensive tackle Shon Coleman has visited the Buccaneers, Panthers, Patriots, Titans and Vikings, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
- Clemson second-team all-ACC linebacker B.J. Goodson has had six visits, three of which have been with the Jaguars, Broncos and Dolphins (reported earlier this week), writes Wilson.
- The Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers and Chiefs are all interested in Bowling Green receiver/returner Ryan Burbring, per Wilson (on Twitter).
- Arizona State guard Christian Westerman has worked out for the Bengals and Saints, he told Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic, adding that he has an upcoming workout for the Broncos (Twitter link).
- The Texans are showing “steady interest” in William & Mary linebacker Luke Rhodes, Wilson writes. They also have interest in Toledo defensive lineman Orion Jones, a source told Wilson.
- Connecticut safety Junior Lee has privately worked out for both New York teams – the Giants and Jets – as well as the Colts, reports Wilson (Twitter link).