Round 1, Pick 12
This is one of those guys I was talking about earlier who the New Orleans Saints have to check his medicals and see where he is in recovery. With that being said, if Smith is available at pick 12, I would want the Saints to take him.
As of now, there have been multiple reports of him possibly being available in week one and others saying he won’t be ready until next year. Using a first-round pick on someone who will not be able to play the first year is a huge risk, and I could see why the Saints would pass on him if that is the case. But I’m hoping his recovery is going alright and could start on the PUP list, then eventually play.
The Saints just restructured Dannell Ellerbe’s contract and he will be starting at weak side linebacker. The only problem with Ellerbe is that he just can’t stay healthy. Now, the good thing about Smith is he is so intelligent that he can play multiple positions on the field.
So, if Ellerbe stays healthy, then you can still play Smith in other positions. Smith is an outstanding pass rusher, has nice speed for his size, great at shedding blocks, instinctive, good tackler, and solid in coverage. If the brutal knee injury didn’t occur he would easily be a top-5 pick.
Imagine having Stephone Anthony, Hau’oli Kikaha, and Jaylon Smith all on the field at once from the linebacker position. Three young and very talented linebackers together would be a nice sight for Saints fans to see. I would consider weakside linebacker and defensive tackle the two biggest needs for the Saints. Since there are so many good defensive tackles in this year’s draft, the team can wait and still get a good one in the second or third round, which is why I chose to go weakside linebacker in the first.
Next: Round 2