The Green Bay Packers have added two new faces to the team: Rasul Douglas at CB and Jaylon Smith at LB. Douglas, in my opinion, will be more of a depth piece but may get some snaps with the injuries the Packers have at CB.
Jaylon Smith, on the other hand, should be slotted in as LB2 once he’s ready to play and will probably be receiving significant snap time. The Smith move was met with a ton of criticism, as many feel that he’s not the player he once was a couple of years ago.
So just like I did with Rasul Douglas, which you can check out here, let’s get to know the new LB a little bit more.
Packers will be hoping Jaylon Smith can return to his prior form of 2019
Fact #1: Collegiate accolades
Jaylon Smith was a phenomenal player during his time at Notre Dame. He was the anchor of their defense and would’ve been a top-tier pick if not for some brutal knee injuries suffered in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. At Notre Dame, Smith was a consensus All-American and won the Dick Butkus award in 2015.
Fact #2: Injury history
As stated above, Smith suffered a knee injury in college which cost him mightily. In the Fiesta Bowl where he was hurt, he tore his ACL and LCL and many were worried about possible nerve damage to Smith’s knee.
Fact #3: Between 2018-2020 he played and started every game
Smith was drafted in 2016 and wound up missing his entire rookie year. In 2017 he was ready to play and he played in all 16 games while starting six of them. In the following three seasons, Smith played and started every game for the Dallas Cowboys.
Fact #4: Pro Bowl pedigree
Jaylon Smith played well in his first year back, but in 2018 he really came back onto the scene as a top LB in the NFL. This led to a Pro Bowl season in 2019, which also led to a big contract for Smith that offseason.
Fact #5: Recent struggles
Unfortunately, 2021 hasn’t been kind to Smith. The Cowboys drafted stud Micah Parsons in the first round before also snagging Jabril Cox later on. Parsons and Cox have both outplayed Smith this season which led to his eventual release from the Cowboys.
While his play may have fallen off a cliff as of late, a change of scenery should be good Smith and he will still be playing behind De’Vondre Campbell, who’s been outstanding this year. No matter how you feel about the moves that the Green Bay Packers made this week, it’s exciting to see the team add pieces that can actually help the team.