In the 2004 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted linebacker Daryl Smith out of Georgia Tech in the second round. Smith become a starter for the Jaguars right out of the gate at the outside linebacker position and hasn't looked back since. Smith's been the full time starter at a linebacker position for the Jaguars since day one. Be it at strongside linebacker, weakside linebacker, middle linebacker, inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, and outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
He's done it all, and done all of them exceptionally well.There was a moment in Daryl Smith's rookie season that I knew he'd be a great player. Having seen him play inside linebacker at Georgia Tech, I knew he was kind of a jack-of-all trades master of none linebacker, but a play where he picked off Peyton Manning his rookie season was foresight to just how good he'd become. It was a leaping tip of a pass that Smith tipped to himself for an interception in a Week 4 loss to the Colts.
Smith only has 5 interceptions in his career, but he's an exceptional coverage linebacker. He's also an excellent tackler and a surprisngly effective pass rusher when actually asked to blitz. Smith is one of the most overlooked linebacker in the entire NFL, and it's mostly because he's not flamboyant. He's nicknamed the "Silent Assassin" by his teammates, because he's so quiet but deadly on the football field. He runs the Jaguars defense and is continuously voted a team captain.
Daryl Smith has a very good chance to go down as the best linebacker to sling on the pads in Jaguars history, and I'm not sure it's really a big competition. That's not bad for a 2nd round pick.
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