2016 NFL Draft: The Denver Broncos could lose Danny Trevathan this offseason, so why not bring Jaylon Smith into the fold as a ‘redshirt’ pick?
With some additional selections coming from the compensatory pool and some flexibility in the 2016 draft, why not take a shot at Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith?
Many have written him off as a possible Marcus Lattimore-caliber injury, but Smith was the best linebacker — maybe the best player — in this draft before his gruesome knee injury at the end of the season. Does that mean he will never play again?
Only time will tell us that. We learned from Lattimore that a knee injury of this type of devastation is not easily overcome. The 49ers gave him as much time as they could, but he wasn’t able to get back on the field. So when do you justify taking that risk on a player like Smith?
There’s little to no chance he will play in 2016, so unlike my previous knee-jerk reactions on Twitter, you can’t use a first round pick on him. There were some teams who reportedly failed him medically at the Scouting Combine, which basically means they don’t think he’ll ever play again.
Some teams weren’t so sure about that.
If there’s a chance that Smith can get back to full strength and play again, he’s worth the risk for the Broncos at some point or another. He’s been compared to Patrick Willis for his ability to be a three-down linebacker, and if the Broncos could get Jaylon Smith at 100 percent in 2017, it would be like having an additional top five pick in next year’s draft.
NFL teams are concerned about Smith’s knee, but there’s a point at which you can take a calculated risk with some extra draft picks on a guy that could be a superstar in this league. The Broncos have that luxury in the third, possibly the fourth round. They should take advantage of it.