Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith was hoping to be a top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft despite tearing knee ligaments in the Fiesta Bowl, but that dream could very well be dead. According to ESPN, multiple NFL teams failed Smith on his physical at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week, even though he’s able to walk with a limp and without crutches, and three teams have said that they have no plans to draft Smith.
As hard as this may be for some to swallow, those NFL teams made the right call. Smith tore his ACL and LCL in the Fiesta Bowl, and now ESPN is reporting that he also has nerve damage despite Smith saying the contrary. On top of that, there’s the growing possibility that he won’t be able to play the 2016 season. For someone who left school with 284 tackles (23.5 for a loss) and 4.5 sacks to his name, plus three forced fumbles, this is certainly a cruel twist of fate.
The good news for Smith is that he has a $5 million loss-of-value policy that he could collect on in the event that he isn’t a first-round pick, but the fact that this injury may prevent him from being drafted at all has got to hurt.
Stay tuned to Campus Sports for any further updates from Smith’s path to the NFL!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports