NFL clubs on Jaylon Smith's knee injury: 'It's bad'

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL Scouting Combine medical examinations on Jaylon Smith's injured knee didn't do anything to help the former Notre Dame star's draft stock, and his medical re-checks prior to the draft could have a significant impact on where he lands.

NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock said Sunday that no fewer than five NFL clubs have significant concerns about the exams Smith's knee underwent in Indianapolis.

"A big part of this is the medical ... I've texted and talked to at least five different teams since (Saturday) night to ask them about Jaylon Smith. None of them will get specific, but the one common denominator is every team's told me it's bad, on the knee," Mayock said on NFL Network.

Three NFL clubs have removed Smith from their draft boards pending the results of further medical exams, according to Yahoo! Sports, and NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that some teams expect Smith to miss the 2016 season entirely. NFL Media's Kimberly Jones said Sunday on NFL Network that the first round now seems unlikely for Smith based on what she's hearing from NFL decision makers.

Mayock said Smith, if healthy, would be a potential No. 1 overall pick.

If clubs continue to question whether Smith will be ready to play before 2017, however, the drag on his stock as a draft prospect could be significant. Smith, for his part, was upbeat while watching other linebackers at the combine go through drill work at Lucas Oil Stadium, telling NFL Network "it's going to be fine."

Smith won the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in college football. He has a loss-of-value insurance policy to protect him financially in the event that the knee injury causes him to fall past a point in the draft at which a policy claim would be triggered.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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