Despite going undrafted during the 2019 NFL Draft, the addition of wide receiver Jaylen Smith deserves some serious attention from Ravens Flock.
By now, we should all be aware of Lamar Jackson’s dominance during his college days at the University of Louisville. After all, the now 22-year old quarterback won a Heisman Trophy during his sophomore season and is widely regarded as one of the best college quarterbacks of the 2010s. Jackson did all of this with a sub-par cast around him, but he did manage to establish great chemistry with one player in particular: wide receiver Jaylen Smith.
Smith, who went undrafted following the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Draft, played ball with Jackson for the entirety of the latter’s career, but returned for his senior year in 2018. During Smith and Jackson’s stint together, the two hooked up for nearly 2,000-yards and 14 touchdowns. It was during both of their sophomore and junior seasons that the two really connected, as Smith caught 13 of those 14 touchdowns during 2016 and 2017.
Given the two’s chemistry established in college together, it made perfect sense that Baltimore would be the team to snatch him up as a undrafted rookie free agent.
The reason Jaylen Smith likely went undrafted during the 2019 NFL Draft was due to his poor production when playing without Jackson. Smith also may have suffered from an offense devoid of any play-makers outside of himself. Regardless, Smith has now departed the University of Louisville and is being reunited with Lamar Jackson.
During the 2019 Senior Bowl, I had the pleasure of talking to Jaylen Smith after practice. Smith was a very approachable young man who lit up at the thought of rejoining Jackson in Baltimore:
Now that this has come to fruition, it’s exciting to see the young man get a chance to redeem his poor senior season by hopefully picking up where he left off from 2017. Smith’s case is also helped by the fact that Baltimore is surrounding Jackson with weapons to help his development, and there’s no better way to do that than to add someone whom he connected with back in college.
We all know that the Baltimore Ravens are constantly hurting for bodies to add to their wide receiver core. Jaylen Smith may not be the most talented guy on the field, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a player who is likely more determined than ever to prove the doubters wrong. If there’s one off-season story you should keep an eye on, it’s how Jaylen Smith’s story will unfold in Baltimore.