Expectations were high for wideout Devin Smith in 2015 when he was drafted to the New York Jets out of Ohio State, but the Buckeyes’ go-to deep-threat couldn’t stay healthy enough to contribute at the next level. Just as teams are getting ready for training camp, the Jets decided to release their former second-round pick, according to Adam Schefter.
Jets are releasing former 2015 second-round pick Devin Smith, per source. Smith suffered two torn ACLs and has struggled to recover from them.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 16, 2018
Smith was taken at No. 37 overall by the Jets after winning the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship with the Buckeyes. He earned playing time in 10 games during his rookie season, starting three, and nabbing nine receptions on 28 targets for 115 yards and one score.
The wide receiver’s NFL career started off rocky, with a rib injury just ahead of the regular season causing some concern. He didn’t let it slow him down for the first four weeks of the season, but in Week 8 Smith suffered an ankle injury, followed by a foot injury in Weeks 9 and 12. In Week 15 he was down for good with an torn ACL.
Smith would go on to spend the majority of the 2016 season on the Physically Unable to Perform List as he recovered from his various injuries. He was activated in November, but only saw three targets in the final four games of the season.
Things didn’t go any smoother for the Buckeye as he prepared for the offseason, with Smith suffering his second torn ACL in April 2017, knocking him out for his entire third NFL season.
This marks the first time in Smith’s young career that he’s been a free agent and will get a sense of whether or not teams are willing to take a chance on him given his injury history.
With teams heading into training camp this week through the end of the month, there isn’t a ton of time left to find a team willing to take the gamble and do enough during camp to solidify a spot on the final 53-man roster.
Here’s hoping the Buckeye hasn’t seen his last NFL snap at such a young age.