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Packers Free Agent Target: Jaylon Smith

The Cowboys just released Jaylon Smith due to him not playing up to his contract. With Micah Parsons’ in the wings, Jaylon Smith became expendable to the Cowboys. The old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Packers interested in Jaylon Smith

Jaylon Smith’s Fit on the Team

Jaylon Smith is a tackle machine
Credit: Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Krys Barnes is still hurt, and that second ILB spot next to De’vondre Campbell is up for grabs. Oren Burks has filled in as best he can, but Jaylon Smith is an immediate upgrade. A former Pro-Bowler, Jaylon Smith, has not missed one game throughout his 4 1/4 year career on the Cowboys. The Packers could use a player who stays healthy on that defense.

Smith isn’t the greatest coverage linebacker, but he posted 20 passes defended in his four full seasons on the Cowboys. Unfortunately, Smith has allowed a 102 passer rating over above in each of his seasons. It seems as if he’s making a play on the ball, or it’s being caught. There’s no in-between.

Smith is also a very good tackler. In his three seasons as a full-time starter, Smith averaged 139 Total Tackles and 85 solo tackles. He has had a problem with missed tackles, but in Joe Barry’s defense, defenders have improved at wrapping up tackles.

Jaylon Smith’s Pedigree

Jaylon Smith is a former Pro Bowler
Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylon Smith was a three-year full-time starter for the Cowboys from 2018-2020. This season, Smith had lost his starting job to rookie 1st round pick Micah Parsons. This is another reason Smith may have been released, to open up more snaps for Parsons.

Smith was a Pro-Bowler in 2019, where he posted 142 Total Tackles (83 solos, 59 assisted), 6 TFLs, and 2 forced fumbles. Smith also posted 1 interception and 9 passes defended. He also rushed the passer a few times and wracked up 2.5 sacks, 3 QB hits, and 4 pressures. In his Pro Bowl season, PFF graded Smith out at 70.2.

Smith had a down-year in 2020, where PFF graded him at a 54.2. Despite that grade, Smith still had 154 Total Tackles (89 solo and 65 assisted) and 5 TFLs. His “down-year” can be attributed to playing out of position. Smith was playing as the weakside linebacker when he is better suited to be strictly a middle linebacker.

In each of Smith’s years as an MLB, he never had a PFF grade under 69.4. In fact, in 2018, when Smith posted 121 Total Tackles (82 solos, 39 assisted), 6 TFLs, 2 FF, and 2 FR, he was given an elite PFF grade of 84. Along with his many tackles, Smith also posted a career-high 4 sacks and 6 QB hits.

 

Additional Jaylon Smith Information

Jaylon Smith is only 26 years old. He is just entering his prime. He was having an okay season before the Cowboys released him. He’s posted 18 Total Tackles (13 solos, 5 assisted), and he’s been given a 69.5 PFF grade.

Jaylon Smith also brings elite speed at the MLB position. He posted a 4.44 40-yard dash. Speed is very much needed in the Packers’ ILB group. De’vondre Campbell is the fastest ILB the Packers have, and he ran a 4.58 40-yard dash.

Smith wouldn’t be the full-time starter for the Packers. He would be a rotational piece that will also play on special teams. Him being a great tackler, should immediately improve the special teams unit.

He is a better player than both Burks and Summers, and a three-headed monster of De’Vondre Campbell, Krys Barnes, and Jaylon Smith could become one of the best ILB groups in the league. Packers could have the potential from going from one of the worst ILB groups to one of the best, with one signing.

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Louis Napolitano

Louis Napolitano graduated from Quinnipiac University with a BA in Film, Television, and Media Arts. He is currently in the process of receiving a BA in Elementary Education, as well as an Masters in Special Education at Ramapo College. He was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin before moving to New Jersey. He’s a die hard Packers and Bucks fan.

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