With high expectations entering the 2018 campaign, senior Louisville Cardinals wide receiver Jaylen Smith needed to help ease the quarterback transition between Lamar Jackson and Jawon Pass. However, a Louisville offense that was supposed to recover to some degree under former head coach Bobby Petrino did nothing of the sort in 2018.
By season’s end, Louisville got rid or Petrino and was one of the ACC’s worst teams and most inefficient through the air. Pass finished the season with only eight touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. That wasn’t the fault of Smith, though, whose down season was mostly a product of poor circumstances.
That doesn’t mean that Smith won’t have to prove himself more than we first thought entering the 2018 regular season. Some anticipated Smith to be one of the top 10 wide receivers in this class. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds and with excellent leaping ability, Smith has the physical tools to be a solid receiver in the NFL.
The fact that he posted just 550 receiving yards and one touchdown after two very solid seasons in 2016 and 2017 makes scouting events and showcase games like this pivotal for Smith. The main goal for Smith is to “generate NFL Draft buzz” like he had entering the 2018 off-season.