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NFL Draft: Elerson Smith thrilled to land with Giants after pandemic complications forced early end to college career

Elerson Smith of Northern Iowa (47) runs a drill with defensive lineman Tarron Jackson of Coastal Carolina (99) during the National Team practice for the Senior Bowl college football game in Mobile, Ala., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Credit: AP/Matthew Hinton

The official status says that Elerson Smith opted out of his final season at Northern Iowa, but really it was taken from him.

The edge rusher was coming off a breakout performance in 2019 when he recorded 14 sacks in his first year as a starter and hoping to build on it to make NFL scouts notice.