After bouncing around between a couple of programs for the first few years of his career, Jordan Smith settled at UAB and made quite the impression in 2019. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the fourth-most wins above average by an edge defender which was just three spots behind second-overall pick Chase Young.
At six-foot-seven and 255 pounds, Smith’s strength and athleticism were on display all year. He collected 48 total tackles (14.5 for loss) along with eight sacks and three forced fumbles in just 13 games. If you’re concerned about the redshirt junior’s ability to play against the premier competition, don’t be. Pro Football Focus took note of his performance against a power five school last year.
"UAB had one game against a Power-5 school, a Week 10 bout versus Tennessee. That day, Smith recorded nine pressures on 24 pass-rush reps. No wonder why he was once offered by Alabama, Ohio State and LSU back in 2015-16. He might just be the most underrated player at his position."
Derek Barnett has not played like a first-round pick and Brandon Graham isn’t getting any younger. Maybe the Birds will take a chance on a developmental edge rusher such as Smith later like they did with Josh Sweat a few years ago. There’s no guarantee that Genard Avery and Shareef Miller will develop as expected but time will tell.