Cleveland Browns Draft Profile: Jaylon Smith
University of Notre Dame
2015: 114 tackles, 9 TFL, 1 sack, 0 INT, 5 PD, 1 FF
2014: 111 tackles, 9 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 0 INT, 2 PD, 1 FF
2013: 58 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 0 sacks, 0 INT, 3 PD, 1 FF
2016 Draft Range
Early – mid day three
I know many still have Smith as a second or third, if not first round pick, but to me the nerve damage done to his knee and ankle could be enough to sideline him for beyond the 2016 season, and cause a lot of teams to shy away. There’s no questioning the type of athlete Smith is, and before the injury I would have had him as a top-5 or top-10 pick. In all reality, Smith will likely end up going before the end of the second round because of what team’s have seen he can do on the field, but for the Browns, with so many needs to fill, it would be a hard sell to fans to take a guy in the first two days that won’t see the field in 2016.
Smith has said he will be back to 100 percent, the only question is when. When he does get back on the field, I anticipate his style of play to change from college and become much more limited. At Notre Dame, Smith went between playing inside and outside linebacker, could put his hand down as an end, and even went out and played some slot corner when needed. His size allowed for this at the college level, but coming into the pros, unless he puts on some weight I see him being strictly an outside linebacker and an occasional zone coverage inside linebacker.
Smith was able to be a productive pass rusher from any of the positions he played in college, but one thing he did especially well was play zone coverage. Very disciplined in staying with his assignments until the last second. Once he was able to break from his zone, you would be hard pressed to find a better open field tackler in college last year.
Bulking up even a little bit will be crucial for Smith coming into the NFL. In college, while he was a very quick player, he would often get overmatched by bigger linemen. If he could add some weight when he gets healthy, that would give him the ability to do what he did in college and move between outside and inside linebacker more often.
Next: System Fit with the Browns