DJ Eberle is a student/athlete at Western New England University. He is an offensive tackle, built like his dad; a rugby Prop. Track him on Twitter @Ebstide52
Today we’re checking in on Australian-born rugby star Hayden Smith and his NFL journey with the New York Jets.
For those of you who may not remember, Hayden Smith is a former rugby star for the US Eagles. Smith was a rugby All-American in college with Metropolitan State in Denver, Colorado. After graduation the All-American went overseas to play ball in England. Smith joined Saracens FC – where Team USA star Chris Wyles plays – in the 2008/2009 season and succeed at a high level. After playing overseas, Smith came back to the States and played for the US Eagles. Smith was able to help qualify the United States for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
In April, Smith decided to move from the pitch to the gridiron. The Aussie worked out with both the Jets and New Orleans Saints. Smith was then offered a contract by the New York Jets, the team he has been with since. Smith has the opportunity to learn from one of the best, Dustin Keller.
Smith is noted to be making strides with the team and is picking up terminology and plays well. Still it will be very hard to image Smith to make a significant impact for the Jets this season. As mentioned, the Jets already have a great tight end in Dustin Keller. But as the New England Patriots have shown, it’s very important try and use two different tight ends at the same time.
I do not believe that the Jets will cut Hayden Smith. Now we just have to wait and see whether or not he makes the 53-man roster or the Practice Squad. My best guess is the Practice Squad because he still has room to grow. But only time will tell.