Jaylon Smith got a punch to the gut Friday during his medical examinations at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Notre Dame linebacker is expected to miss the entire 2016 NFL season with ankle and knee nerve issues discovered on Friday.
It was already known that he would need time to recover from a knee injury suffered in the Fiesta Bowl. But he was still being slotted into the first round of the draft by most major NFL draft analysts, given his talent and outstanding athleticism.
After the medical revealed troubling issues that could keep him out of next season and could portend trouble even further out, it’s hard to imagine he’s going to be selected on Day 1, or perhaps even on Day 2 of the draft.
Not sure I could invest a 1st round pick in Jaylon Smith – especially if I'm not sure he'll ever be back to what he was
— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) February 26, 2016
Smith is still determined to push through and get back to full health.
“I’m going to be 100 percent again,” Smith said at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis Friday, per CSN Chicago. ”We just don’t know when.”
It’s a brutal turn of events for the young linebacker. We wish him the best in his continued recovery.