Detroit Lions: Five First Round Draft Options

5 of 6

Jaylon Smith, OLB Notre Dame

Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most athletic linebacker prospects in years, Smith has enchanted scouts with his closing speed, bone-rattling hits and ability to turn and run with anyone in coverage. Many draftniks have fallen head over heels for the junior from Fort Wayne…

He’s got the potential to be a real game-changer with his versatility. Putting him in the mix with a (hopefully) healthy DeAndre Levy and Tahir Whitehead would give the Lions a speedy, tough, malleable linebacking corps to mix and match with anyone.

Smith does have his detractions. I wrote about them over the summer for Draft Breakdown, and from the games I’ve seen this year he’s still got a lot of room to improve. He makes a lot of great plays but tends to have periods where he just doesn’t show up. But the athletic potential is off the charts for a new head coach to work with.

Next: Ronnie Stanley