Jaylon Smith and Shaq Lawson are slam dunk first round picks if they're healthy, and Jaylon Smith would've been a top ten pick if he had never gotten hurt. Both entered this draft with medical questions, and while we don't have any definitive answers on either, we do have reports on what teams expect from these guys in 2016.
#ND LB Jaylon Smith, who was a top 5 pick before the injury, is expected to sit out 2016. Many teams believe he'll be back to form in 2017.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 15, 2016
The medical recheck for #Clemson DE Shaq Lawson (shoulder) confirmed what a specialist said earlier: No concern for his availability in '16— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 15, 2016
I still feel terrible for Smith, who suffered one of the worst injuries you can suffer in football at one of the worst possible times. Nerve damage is and will be a concern for Smith over the long haul, but there are apparently plenty of teams who think they'll have his services in 2017, which raises interesting questions about his draft stock. In essence if you take him, you know you're losing 2016 and hoping you'll have the old Smith back for the season after, and I can't see many teams taking a shot at him given that before the tail end of the first round, if not later.
Seeing where Smith ends up promises to be one of the more fascinating subplots of this draft, because there's little question about his ability when healthy, and plenty of questions about his health. The Titans and Patriots, who each have tons of picks and could use a player of Smith's caliber (even if the Pats are pretty loaded at linebacker), lurk as first or second round teams to watch. The Falcons probably won't be the team to take a shot on Smith unless he goes into a freefall.
Lawson, on the other hand, had concerns about his shoulder that will probably linger a bit even after his re-check. Some team should take a crack at him in the mid-to-late first round with this news, though, and the Falcons could certainly be one of those teams given their need for a pass rusher.
Your expectations for both in the draft?