Smith, a second-round pick in 2015, was diagnosed with a torn ACL on April 17, the first day of the team’s offseason program. He will be lost for the entire season, the Jets announced Saturday at the conclusion of the draft.
“It’s bad luck and bad timing because the kid worked so hard to get back,” coach Todd Bowles said.
Smith has been plagued by injuries from almost the first moment he stepped on the field. As a rookie, he fractured his ribs on the second day of training camp. He returned and worked his way into the receiver rotation, only to suffer torn knee ligaments late in the 2015 season. As a result, he was unavailable until midway through 2016.
In two seasons, Smith, a former standout at Ohio State, has played in 14 games. He has 10 receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown.
The Jets believe he reinjured the knee before the first official workout.
“He had been around, working and training, but at the first [session] he experienced a situation with his knee,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “We actually examined him before he went out.”
Smith was taken for an MRI, which confirmed the tear.
The Jets drafted two receivers, Alabama’s ArDarius Stewart in the third round and Cal’s Chad Hansen in the fourth. They have 13 on the roster.