The brutal story of Jaylon Smith’s bad medical at the NFL Scouting Combine hasn’t quelled his desire to be great.
In case you don’t know the story, Smith tore his ACL and MCL in the Fiesta Bowl this year. He was still considered to be a potential first-round pick heading into the combine.
Unfortunately, medical tests revealed what has been reported as nerve issues in his ankle and knee. These issues have caused many teams to take Smith off their board completely and many teams believe he’s going to miss the entire 2016 NFL season, or more.
Just asked a Defensive Coordinator about Jaylon Smith. "Can't take that risk". When? "At all. Poor kid."
— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) February 27, 2016
Rather than take this news lying down, Smith has continued to remain optimistic throughout the process. He also believes he’ll play this upcoming season and doesn’t believe the injury is as bad as many of the teams do.
“The nerve wasn’t stretched at all. It’s just the healing game. That’s all,” Smith said Friday, via ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold and Adam Schefter. “It’s a process. I’ll be back 100 percent. We just don’t know when.”
In an interview with Kimberly Jones of NFL Network, Smith made a bold claim that many analysts would likely agree with, prior to his terrible medical news this week.
"I'm the best player in the draft. I just can't show it right now." https://t.co/100tkoNlyl
— NFL (@NFL) February 28, 2016
Smith wants teams to rely on his “personality” and “the film” to make a decision about drafting him, but unfortunately nobody knows if he’ll ever be the same player he once was.
Essentially, we’re seeing another Marcus Lattimore situation unfold, and that didn’t end well for the former South Carolina Gamecocks star running back. He spent two years trying to get healthy with the San Francisco 49ers, who took a flier on him with a fourth-round pick. Unfortunately he never did get right and was forced to leave without ever stepping foot on a professional football playing field.
This is what NFL teams are currently thinking about as it pertains to Smith. If he can get healthy, there is no doubt he’ll have a huge impact as a sideline-to-sideline defender who can play multiple positions. But right now it seems like that’s a big if.