Smith is eager for a fresh start, having undergone open-heart surgical procedure final August and now returned to the sector. Ekstrom wrote:
It has been two years since Smith performed important snaps in a significant soccer recreation. At USC, he was an distinctive four-year participant who specialised in stuffing the run. On the time he was drafted, he match the archetype of a Ben Gedeon-type that might excel on first and second downs.
Regardless of being out all final season, Smith stayed linked to the workforce, participated in conferences and continued to study from the sideline. Ekstrom mentioned that Smith will “be in a battle” this offseason to earn a spot on the ultimate 53-man roster.
Behind [Anthony] Barr and [Eric] Kendricks, he’ll be competing with veteran pickup Nick Vigil, final 12 months’s fourth-round decide Troy Dye and this 12 months’s third-round decide Chazz Surratt. Whereas Smith’s forte is tackling and defending the run, most of his colleagues have been acquired for his or her capacity to defend the go because the league’s offenses shift.
The third-year linebacker bought off to a robust begin in OTAs, incomes some first-team reps within the Vikings base protection. Whereas Minnesota has combined and matched by its first week of observe, it is clear they’re giving Smith a shot to begin — and to convey his comeback story to fruition.