If Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith were healthy, there are people who think he would have gone at the top of the first round of the draft this year but he isn’t after tearing his ACL and MCL during the Fiesta Bowl in January.
That made his outlook for the start of the season a dicey one, but a team picking Smith may need to wait even longer than that. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the exam found “ankle and knee nerve issues” that have added to concerns about Smith’s help. After watching a video that Smith posted online this week noting the lack of a brace for his ligament injuries, former Chargers team doctor David Chao pointed out that he was wearing a brace that indicated a nerve issue.
Per the report, teams believe that Smith will miss “at least” the 2016 season as a result of the problems.
We’ve seen teams use early picks on players coming off ligament tears and other severe injuries plenty of times, but the possibility of a chronic problem will likely prove to have a more significant impact on where Smith lands come the draft. We’ll surely hear more about Smith’s health as teams do further digging into Smith’s health.