Junior Galette calls Preston Smith a star 'in the making'

The injured edge rusher clearly has a lot of confidence in the youngster who'll help replace him.

While many of his teammates and Washington Redskins fans are still upset about his recent injury, Junior Galette has demonstrated on Twitter that he's already looking forward — forward to his surgery, forward to his rehab and even forward to the production of the man largely responsible for replacing him.

Galette, Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith were supposed to form a terrific trio of pass rushers. However, after the 28-year-old's second torn Achilles in as many years, Kerrigan and Smith will need to be a dynamic duo while at the same time making up for some of Galette's expected production.

Well, the former is already a known commodity in the NFL. The latter, though, is coming off a strong rookie season, but his ceiling is still unknown. But, for what it's worth, Galette thinks it's high.

Very high, in fact:

https://twitter.com/JovaisG/status/758374202923749376

Galette also made a radio appearance on ESPN 980 on Wednesday, heaping more praise on the second-year player out of Mississippi State.

https://twitter.com/NeilDalal96/status/758392908902838272

That assessment of Smith is awfully encouraging. Even though his debut campaign was impressive (leading the league in sacks among rookies is a major accomplishment), there were times where he didn't finish plays or give maximum effort every down. That's something both he and Ricky Jean Francois were not shy about pointing out in 2015.

Fortunately, according to Galette, Smith has taken things to a new level, and starting on Thursday when the Redskins begin training camp, just how much progress he's made can truly be measured. He can also show Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan that they maybe don't need to be so active on the trade or free agency markets, if Galette's "superstar in the making" quote proves to be correct. 

https://twitter.com/breakburgundy/status/758455681213005824

Defensive coordinator Joe Barry will certainly lament not having the former Saint available for his defense. With that being said, getting a more engaged, experienced and explosive Smith wouldn't be a shabby consolation prize.

Follow Peter Hailey on Twitter at @barelyin.

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