Lesson to be learned: Don’t sweat size
A total of 143 players came off the board before the Jaguars selected linebacker Telvin Smith in the fifth round of the 2014 draft,new nike nfl jerseys cheap even though in hindsight Smith should have been a first-round selection. Four years into his career, the Florida State product has 452 tackles, seven interceptions, 6.5 sacks and four forced fumbles and is coming off a Pro Bowl appearance at the age of 26.
A total of 51 players came off the board before the Falcons selected linebacker Deion Jones in the second round of the 2016 draft, buy nike nfl jerseys cheap even though in hindsight Jones should have been a top-10 selection. Two years into his career, the LSU product has 244 tackles, six interceptions and two defensive touchdowns and is coming off a Pro Bowl appearance at the age of 23.
Good players are overlooked in every draft, but the mistake teams appeared to make with Smith and Jones (and to a lesser extend Aaron Donald, for that matter) is they discounted those players based on their size. At 6’3″, 218 pounds and 6’1″, 222 pounds, respectively, Smith and Jones are two of the smallest linebackers in the NFL.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal But they’re also two of the best young defensive players in the league, along with undersized and underdrafted front-seven defenders Eric Kendricks (taken 45th overall in 2015), Kwon Alexander (taken 124th overall that same year) and Donald (taken 13th overall in 2014).
Time and again, “undersized” players have defied expectations by making up for that lack of size with drive, range, speed and playmaking ability. But teams continue to pass on players out of fear they won’t be able to hold up at the next level.
In less than a week, we’ll find out if 6’1″, 236-pound Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith will become the latest victim of that stigma, because Smith has top-10 talent but lacks top-10 size.cheap nfl nike jerseys china