John Franklin-Myers praises fellow defensive lineman on the roster bubble

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Tanzel Smart hasn’t made much of an on-field impact with the Jets, but he is influencing at least one teammate behind the scenes.

“He’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen in my life,” John Franklin-Myers recently said on the “Take Flight Spittin’ Fire Podcast.” “He makes me work harder than I’ve ever worked since I’ve been here.”

Given the surplus of talent on the Jets’ defensive line, it is somewhat surprising to hear Franklin-Myers namedrop Smart, a player who saw just 26 total snaps last season. He recorded three total tackles in as many games.

Smart has been a journeyman since entering the league out of Tulane in 2017. He spent three seasons with the Rams before bouncing around to the Bills, Browns and Jets. He’s played in 509 total defesive snaps in his career, and 306 of those came in his rookie year.

While Smart is motivating Franklin-Myers, the former is no threat to the latter’s job. Franklin-Myers is a potential starter following a career year that included 19 total tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, 13 quarterback hits, two pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries in 15 games.

Smart, meanwhile, will need to go above and beyond this summer if he hopes to crack New York’s deep defensive line rotation.

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