The Detroit Lions reportedly worked out eight players on Tuesday, including a veteran pass rusher:
Jacquies Smith has had an interesting NFL career. He went undrafted in 2012, and after an unsuccessful stint on the Dolphins’ training camp squad, he was cut and joined the CFL. He didn’t play much there and eventually ended the season on the New York Jets practice squad.
From there he bounced around to the Bills before finally ending up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a week into the 2014 season. That’s when his career blew up. He started 18 games for the Buccaneers between 2014 and 2015 and tallied 13.5 sacks over that time.
While those numbers are gaudy, Pro Football Focus hasn’t been all that impressed with Smith’s play. Despite his 7.0 sacks in 2015, Smith ranked just 43rd out of 51 qualifying 4-3 ends in their pass-rush productivity stat. He finished with a paltry grade of 38.9 from PFF.
Smith was hoping to have a breakout year in 2016, but he tore his ACL in the very first game and was placed on injured reserve. In 2017, he suffered a setback in recovery that held him out for the first three games of this season. He only played a few snaps in Week 4 and was subsequently released days later.
The Lions’ issues rushing the passer are well known. Ezekiel Ansah has not produced like many believed he would. The Anthony Zettel magic appears to have worn off after a few games. And now, free agent signing Cornelius Washington is being benched for no apparent reason.
Smith has the stats and potential to warrant interest from the Lions, but questions about his health and true pass rushing productivity may prevent him from landing a spot on the roster.
UPDATE: It looks like the Lions may have signed Smith:
Thankful for this opportunity blessed— Jacquies Smith (@Jachalp3) October 18, 2017