Jaylon Smith – Middle Linebacker
Finally, we get to witness the return of former All-American linebacker Jaylon Smith. His recovery from a major knee injury has been covered in detail for the last year, but now we get to talk about him as a contributor.
Smith is currently the backup middle linebacker for the Dallas defense. However, he’s gotten plenty of first team reps whenever either Sean Lee or Anthony Hitchens aren’t practicing. He’s impressed his teammates and coaches, even ending a practice this week with a sack and his signature celebration.
The main areas to watch will be how Smith moves laterally and his aggression level. Throughout camp, he’s had no problem movement wise, but it remains to be seen in an actual game.
Pay attention to how he tracks ball carriers and closes to make tackles. For his aggressiveness, watch how Smith takes on blockers. Does he tries to side-step them or avoid them at all costs, or will he meet them and hold his ground? Hopefully he continues to impress.