Cowboys take flier on Jaylon Smith at No. 34
The Dallas Cowboys selected former Notre Dame outside linebacker Jaylon Smith with the No. 34 overall pick in the 2016 draft.
You could've made a lot of money if two weeks ago you bet on Smith going before Myles Jack. Smith was expected to tumble even further than this due to his gruesome knee injury, but the Cowboys' team doctor actually performed his surgery, so they know his medical records better than anyone. Smith earned the 2015 Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker, finishing his three-year career with 24.5 tackles for loss as a 39-game starter. Unfortunately, Smith tore his ACL and LCL in January's Fiesta Bowl and won't be available for his rookie season. Due to nerve damage in the knee, there is concern Smith may never play again if his nerve doesn't "wake up."
Smith is an instinctive playmaker who drew comparisons to former All-Pro Patrick Willis. To make good on his once-limitless promise, Smith is going to need good fortune. He was reportedly diagnosed with "drop-foot" syndrome at the Combine. If Smith does return to health, Dallas just snagged a top-five talent in the second round and one who could have more impact on winning than their fourth overall selection.
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