Nobody ever complained about getting value in the NFL Draft. Depending on the medical situation involving the shredded left knee of Jaylon Smith, some team may get just that if they select the Notre Dame linebacker.
Smith appeared locked into a top-5 pick before he suffered the brutal injury in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. Players come back from knee injuries all the time and surgical advancements seemingly don't seriously hurt a player's draft stock. Maybe a few picks or even a round, but not much more assuming there was interest in the first place. Smith's case was different because of concerns of nerve damage along with the tears. Missing all of 2016 for basic recovery is one thing, but the nerve fear is another.
I've been meaning to post on this topic with the Redskins based on a situation I faced in the ongoing Scout.com's publishers NFL mock draft. But first, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport updated the 6-foot-2, 223-pound ferocious linebacker's medical report Friday.
Again, if teams believe the worst case scenario involves Smith sitting out the upcoming NFL campaign, but then good to go from there, he'll be a Day 2 pick and probably in round 2. You can also expect some reports to surface of teams taking him off their boards for medical reasons. CBS sports draft analyst and Scout.com publisher Rob Rang ranks Smith 40th among all prospects.
Now, back to the mock. In the first round, I went best player available for the Redskins and selected Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott at 21. Click the link for my reasoning, but that meant being all-in on taking a defensive lineman in the second round.
Except when the time came to make a selection at 53, Smith was still available. Unsure what to make of the medical situation but confident Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan would love this kind of value, i turned in my card.
53. Washington Redskins: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame – Fingers crossed the medical update is good because the former Golden Domer has a chance to be great. Projected as a top-five pick before a devastating injury in the Fiesta Bowl, the tackling machine offers tremendous value here, but also downside since he’s doubtful for 2016. The Redskins have linebackers in place for this season and GM Scot McCloughan’s moves point to truly ramping up the following season anyway.
My sense is that even though the Redskins certainly hope to win big in 2016, McCloughan's moves suggest he's thinking total build rather than short-term success. He want three years worth of draft picks to form the core and define the culture of this team above all. Therefore, waiting on a talent like Smith isn't a major worry, especially since Washington has linebackers ready now. If the Redskins trade down from 21 and land extra selections, using one on a player not available immediately becomes more palatable.
But this call isn't just about McCloughan's beautiful mind. The doctors will have plenty to say and their thoughts might trump all, unless Smith's talents do.
You can read the entire Scout.com round two mock draft here.
To get instant Redskins notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HERE.