Few players had a worse NFL Combine than Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith, through no fault of his own. Smith was failed by multiple teams on his physical due to potential nerve damage stemming from the significant knee injury he suffered against Ohio State, which included a torn ACL and LCL.
Smith, once viewed as a potential top 10 draft pick, will probably fall out of the first round altogether, but he's doing whatever he can to prove that he is healing up. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, he revealed that he is currently leg pressing over 600 pounds, and squatting over 400.
Can Smith feel a tangible difference physically in the past five weeks?
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” Smith said. “A few weeks have made a huge difference, even the past two weeks. I can feel it.
“Rehab is going great. I am leg-pressing over 600 pounds right now. I am squatting over 400 pounds. I am getting that strength back. It’s just a matter of time.”
Asked whether it has been determined if he suffered nerve in the injury, Smith was a bit vague, but he remained upbeat.
“We’ll see when I go back there [to the medical recheck],” Smith said. “We’ll see what the doctors say then. I feel like I’ve regained some of it. I'm happy where I am at right now.”
When healthy, Smith is an incredibly impressive prospect. Hopefully he finds a team that will take a chance on him.