Forme Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith saw his draft stock tank after he tore knee ligaments in the Fiesta Bowl, not to mention when his medicals raised red flags at the NFL Scouting Combine, but the once surefire first-round pick could wind up being taken on Day 1 after all.
According to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football, two NFL playoff teams have expressed an interest in drafting Smith late in the first round so long as his medical recheck ahead of the draft goes well. Moreover, if the recheck goes as such that Smith gets cleared to potentially play in 2016 and won’t suffer any long-term damage from his injury, those two teams like the idea of drafting someone who at one point looked like a top-five pick at a discount.
Even better is that drafting Smith at that position would allow a team to let him rehab his injury for a year so that a smoother transition can become a reality.
Given how Smith totaled 284 tackles (23.5 for a loss) with 4.5 sacks, 10 pass breakups and three forced fumbles when healthy at Notre Dame, it could certainly end up being too hard to not draft him.
Stay tuned to Campus Sports for further updates on Smith’s path to the NFL!
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports