Before he played in the Fiesta Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith looked like one of the best players available in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, a injury to his knee, which caused some pretty severe nerve damage, has hurt his chances at getting selected as high as he had hoped next week.
However, even if he doesn’t go in the first round, he is likely going to be part of some roster in 2016. That does not mean he will be able to play, but Dr. Dan Cooper said that Smith could be back on the field after a year’s rest.
“I also think he has a very good chance of getting his nerve recovery back,” Cooper told USA TODAY Sports.
Smith also talked with the site about missing just being able to run and do drills. He said that it is hard just sitting around and not being able to train.
“When you’re in bed for six weeks, not able to move, not able to walk, you’re this dominant force, but yet you have to rely on people to do little things for you,” Smith said during a break between workouts Friday at AWP Sports. “It even makes you appreciate the little things, and being back out on the field – it’s so awesome. Not a lot of people know exactly what I’m doing right now. But I’m killing it.”
He has accepted the fact that he might miss his rookie season, but he is training hard to get healthy and be able to play in 2017.
During his career at Notre Dame, Jaylon Smith recorded 284 tackles, including over 100 each of the last two seasons, 23.5 for loss, and 4.5 sacks. He won the 2015 Dick Butkus Award and was Consensus All-American.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports