CHICAGO – Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the 34th-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, a spot many felt was unattainable because of a major knee injury in the Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl.
Two picks later, UCLA linebacker Myles Jack’s long and agonizing wait ended when the Jacksonville Jaguars added to their offseason overhaul on defense.
The Cowboys considered Smith a top-five player before his injury but because of damage around the knee, most evaluators expect him to miss the 2016 season. However, the Cowboys had all the medical information needed on Smith — their team doctor, Dan Cooper, performed the surgery. Smith’s older brother, running back Rod Smith, is currently on the Cowboys’ roster.
Dallas has taken second-round linebackers with knee injuries before — Bruce Carter from North Carolina in 2011 and Sean Lee out of Penn State in 2010.
It’s a pick that can be questioned for a number of reasons, including the Cowboys’ glaring hole at defensive end. But Smith is easy to pull for. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said Smith’s character and leadership are rare qualities.
Friday’s second round opened with two edge players — Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma State) to the Cleveland Browns and Clemson’s Kevin Dodd to the Tennessee Titans — before the Cowboys pulled the first surprise.
Smith tore his anterior
Article source: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/nfl-draft-scout/25571692/cowboys-stick-with-draft-history-family-ties-by-drafting-jaylon-smith
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