The Jets today announced the signing of former Aussie League Football star Hayden Smith. Smith comes to the Jets as a TE option who they hope can make up for the lack of physicality that Dustin Keller has at times has failed to show. He is 6’7, 240 lbs and has been clocked at about a 4.75 40.
Smith is an American born athlete who played collegiate basketball at Division II Metro State. He has never played a single day of organized American football but seeing how well other teams have fared bringing in ex-basketball players turned football players it had to intrigue the Jets.
Clearly given his Aussie Football background he is familiar with a physical style of play and isn’t afraid to both get hit or deliver one. He will have a long way to go in terms of learning how to block and run routes but he could be an immediate contributor in the red zone with his 6’7 frame. We expect him to spend some serious time with the Jets strength and conditioning program putting on some weight and improving his strength.
Smith will be 27 yeas old next month and is believed to have signed a three year deal with the Jets.
Smith is off to a good start since he’s been training under former Minnesota Gopher Head Coach Tim Brewster. Whatever Smith makes of this opportunity its quite clear than GM Mike Tannenbaum is not afraid to think or look outside the box. The question remains about whether Head Coach Rex Ryan and Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer can find a way to properly use these new pieces.