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Know your draft picks: Jaguars LB Jordan Smith

Linebacker Jordan Smith from UAB of the American Team during the 2021 Resse's Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama on January 30, 2021 in Mobile, Alabama. The National Team defeated the American Team 27-24. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) (Don Juan Moore, 2021 Don Juan Moore)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jordan Smith is the only player the Jaguars traded up for in the 2021 NFL draft. Smith says he is the best pass rusher in the class. The Jaguars will hope he right because the team could use a boost to their pass rush.

Background:

Smith was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school. He landed a scholarship with the Florida gators but smith never ended up playing a down in Gainsville. Smith was suspended for and off the field incident. Smith then went to a JUCO before landing at UAB where he spent the final 2 years of his college career. He racked up 12.5 sacks in 2 seasons in Alabama. Smith is the first player drafted from UAB since 2015.

Quotable:

“I started at Florida. I had one hiccup at Florida my second year there, ended up transferring to Butler, had a good year at Butler, at the community college, ended up getting second-team all-conference. I ended up transferring to UAB for two years and I was second-team conference my first year there and I was first-team last year, so I had a pretty good bounce back from my situation at Florida.” - Smith on his college career

“First, I feel like I was the best pass rusher in this draft. I’ve shown multiple different moves that I’ve used effectively where other pass rushers have less moves, two or three moves. I have a big arsenal of moves. I use my mind. I use my mental game to help me excel in the game. So, I feel like I bring a lot to the table. I’m a great person. I’m a great teammate, great locker room guy, so I feel like I bring a lot to the table.” Smith on what he brings to the Jaguars

Highlights:

What the analysts are saying:

Pro Football Network: B

Long, athletic, edge rusher who displayed some impressive bend off the edge in Senior Bowl practices and during his time at UAB. Jordan Smith offers some much-needed pass-rush ability to the Jaguars defense.

ESPN’s Michael DiRocco:

Smith (who started his career at Florida but was dismissed from the program for his involvement in a credit card fraud scam) is a physical mismatch at 6-foot-7 and 264 pounds. He was very productive at Butler Community College (22.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks). He had 10 sacks and four forced fumbles in his first season at UAB, 3 pass breakups, and a forced fumble. The Jaguars needed edge rush help since Josh Allen is the only proven pass-rusher on the roster (12.5 sacks in two seasons). K’Lavon Chaisson, the 20th pick in 2020, had one sack as a rookie. The Jaguars’ switch to a 3-4 scheme meant this position was going to be a big need.

CBS Sports: B+

Super long, bendy edge who was very productive in 2020. Looks like a basketball player on the field. Pure pass rusher.


About the Author:

Jamal St. Cyr is an award-winning sports anchor who joined the News4Jax sports team in 2019.