Thursday and Friday were the days for medical re-checks before the 2016 NFL Draft, and were (obviously) a huge days for several prospects.
Predictably, a pair of linebackers who were the object of every Giants fans' desires, and one of the prospects most often mocked to the Giants were among those called in for re-checks. So, how did Shaq Lawson, Myles Jack, and Jaylon Smith fare in their pre-draft exams?
Lawson was flagged by one team with concerns about his right shoulder. He had dislocated it earlier in his college career, and wore a brace on his upper arm in his final year at Clemson.
Lawson apparently got good news from his exam.
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
One team had flagged #Clemson DE Shaq Lawson's shoulder. That team checked it out in Indy and gave it . He didn't miss a game in 3 years.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 15, 2016
That brace is still a mystery for us out here, but it seems as though it isn't a concern. We also do not yet know which team flagged Lawson for the re-check.
Despite not playing for most of the 2015 season, Jack's stock has risen throughout the draft process. While he wasn't playing, scouts and evaluators have had more time to watch his tape and see his effortless and explosive athleticism. In a league that is asking more and more of its defenders, with offenses that are stressing defenses in new and interesting ways, a player like Jack is almost indispensable. That is, if he's healthy. The torn meniscus that ended his 2015 season has has so far kept him from performing a full workout for teams, something that has some clubs worried.
#UCLA LB Myles Jack's medical recheck is over. "Differing opinions." Some teams thought the healing wasn't fast enough. Others are OK it.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 15, 2016
The teams that believe in Myles Jack (torn meniscus) likely won't be deterred by today's medicals. Others view his knee as a potential issue— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 15, 2016
These reports are obviously concerning, but it's also important to keep in mind that the closer to the draft we get -- and we're only 13 days away -- the denser the smokescreens get. The teams that are "concerned" might just be trying to sow doubt in teams picking before them, or trying to disguise their own interest.
I've made no secret of my love for Jaylon Smith as a football player. As someone who loves defensive football, it was a simple joy to watch him on the field in 2015 -- particularly as the Giants' attempts at fielding a defense grew increasingly futile. But then he suffered his now famous knee injury in the last game of his college career. NFL teams are obviously interested to see how his damaged nerves are progressing.
Teams are still reviewing info on #ND LB Jaylon Smith (knee) after rechecks. But I'm told his report wasn't much different from the Combine.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 15, 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
While he was once considered the best player in this draft class, and a lock to be a top five pick, his draft stock is now anything but certain. If teams believe that he could once again be the player he was, could he still see his name called in the first two days? How many teams will be willing to wait a year to see if they could get the best linebacker to come out since Luke Kuechly?