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2016 NFL Draft: Patriots Were Going to Take Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith if the Cowboys Didn't

The Patriots were going to take another risk on a top tier prospect!

The New England Patriots traded down from 61st overall, but it seems as if that wasn't their initial plan. Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith suffered a catastrophic knee injury in his final college game that is likely to force him out of his rookie year in the NFL- and the Patriots wanted to take him.

Smith was regarded as the top prospect in the entire draft prior to his injury as he offered the perfect blend of size, speed, and strength for the position. He was often asked to drop back in coverage as a slot defender, and could also stack the edge to defend against the run game.

The Cowboys are banking on Smith returning at some point, while the Patriots would have liked to have Smith around in case one of Jamie Collins or Dont'a Hightower departs in free agency. Head coach Bill Belichick is all about acquiring talent, and there are none more talented than Smith.

If only he were now on the Patriots.