After a crushing 1-15 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars needed to decide what direction the defense would take in 2021. Early in the offseason, the unit had plenty of holes on the roster and many unanswered questions. If drafting Jordan Smith in the fourth round of this year’s selection meeting isn’t part of the solution, they may not be asking the right questions. On the bright side, the team announced he has signed his rookie deal and he is one step closer to taking the field.
Standing at a towering 6’7”, and 255 pounds, Smith is an imposing presence as a linebacker. His character has been questioned in the past due to some less-than-honorable activities after being recruited, and subsequently released, by the University of Florida. This is probably the only reason he slid to the fourth round in the draft.
Smith resumed his collegiate football career in Alabama, playing linebacker for the Blazers. From 2019 to 2020, he amassed a whopping 89 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and 23.5 tackles for loss. Look for the coaching staff to use him heavily in a run-stopping package as well as on special teams, swatting field goals out of the sky. As his skills develop, he could make an outstanding pass rusher used on 3rd downs.
Assuming Smith has matured, he will certainly be a welcomed and much-needed addition to the Jaguars’ front seven. His physical attributes are hard to match and his nose for ball carriers seems canny. There are still echoes in Jacksonville of another defensive end whose presence on the field shook even the most poised quarterbacks in the NFL.
What former Jacksonville Jaguars player does Jordan Smith best resemble?
Tony (expletive) Brackens. At 6’4” and 261 pounds, he was the Jaguars’ first pick in the second round of 1996’s draft. Though his eight-season career in Jacksonville was cut a bit short due to injury, he still holds the franchise record for sacks, with 55.
Also impressive are Brackens 296 solo tackles, 28 forced fumbles, and five interceptions. As a true force of nature, there was always a sense of excitement when he took the field. He was one of many great features on the Jags’ famous 1999 defensive squad, including the two behemoths to be mentioned soon.
There are very few players that can create the mismatches the way Brackens used to, and the Jacksonville Jaguars believe Jordan Smith is one of them. Wearing number 92 in 2021, look for him on the field as he is sure to light up the stat sheet in the very near future. Quarterbacks beware, there’s a new Big Cat in town and he’s here to take your lunch money.