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Mailbag: Trying Players Out At Fullback? Jaylon Smith's Eventual Position?

I heard Keith Smith will be switching to fullback. What about Rod Smith? I like both players and would like to see them have a chance to help the roster.

Bryan: I haven't heard about Rod Smith, but Keith Smith is going to get a shot. What I like about Keith Smith moving is that it's natural for a linebacker, who is used to playing with leverage to make this transition. In watching him go through linebacker drills, he showed natural ball skills catching the ball and that will help him as well. Where the transition is likely difficult is the angles he will take getting to those blocks and gaining an understanding of that.    

David: It sounds like both guys might get a look this year, which I think would be a solid idea. We obviously know the coaching staff likes Keith Smith, given his ability to hang around. His abilities on special teams would definitely improve his chances if he can learn the position. As for Rod Smith, his massive size (6-3, 235) makes him intriguing, to say the least.

If Jaylon Smith's rehab goes as planned then is he going to play weak side or middle linebacker?  Rod Marinelli said he could play Mike, which confuses me.  If I'm not mistaken he played OLB in college, and is built like a weak side backer or safety (6'2" @ 229).  We already have Lee playing Will, does Jaylon really fit in the middle?

Bryan:At Notre Dame, Smith played as a Mike but he also played at 240 pounds. He lost weight after his surgery and since he started his rehab for the knee he has been able to get back up.

David:At one point in time, I think NFL teams preferred their Mike linebackers to be much bigger. With the way the game has spread out and sped up, though, I don't know how necessary that is anymore. Luke Kuechly is 6-3 and plays at 235. So Smith's size doesn't bother me much if he has the speed and instincts to play the position. On top of that, I'm sure he'll bulk up a bit as he continues his recovery.


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