2011 NFL Draft : Aldon Smith DE, Missouri

Smith suffered through the '10 season with injury, yet at times looked like a one-man wrecking crew. Teams must watch the '09 film to see the explosive Smith at his best or they will be doing themselves a disservice.

One team that saw alot of 2009 Missouri film was the Atlanta Falcons (while scouting and eventually selecting LB Sean Weatherspoon).  In fact, if the Falcons pick Aldon Smith, it would be the third year in a row they select a former Missouri Tiger with one of their first two picks.

A consensus freshman All-American and Big 12 Defensive Newcomer and Freshman of the Year in 2009, he had 64 tackles, and 11.5 sacks.

In 2010, despite missing three games with e broken fibula and playing the second half of the season with the injury, he amassed 48 tackles (34 solo), six sacks, and one interception.

Tony Pauline of  interviewed Smith about the injury:   “The leg is fine,” Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith stated about a lower leg injury he suffered in 2010. “It’s 100 percent. Everything has checked out good.  “It slowed my ability. It didn’t allow me to use my athleticism like I usually did in the past.


Wes Bunting of The National Football Post currently has Smith rated as his 2nd best DE prospect (ahead of DaQuan Bowers):

A downright dominant defensive lineman with an impressive physical skill set and great length. Showcases impress savvy, fluidity and violence as a pass rusher and should be able to further develop in the run game and mature into a potential Pro Bowl-caliber NFL defensive lineman.

 Mocking the Draft argues that Aldon Smith could be a terror as a defensive end at the NFL Level. They see him as an excellent pass rusher, who bases his game on the speed rush to the outside. They also question his strength and his play against the run, but note that he can easily become more powerful.

At 6-5, 265 pounds, Aldon Smith managed just 20 reps on the bench (at the Scouting Combine) although that's forgivable when you consider his whopping 35 3/8-inch arms.  He also ran a respectable 4.78 forty-yard dash.

Smith measured in with an 84-inch wingspan at the Tigers' Pro Day.  For comparison, Jason Pierre-Paul had one of the largest wingspans in last year's draft for a pass rusher at 81 inches.

Doug Farrar, of yahoo.sports and footballoutsiders explains:  what separates Smith from the Jamaal Andersons and Jarvis Mosses of the world (first-round bust) is his intriguing array of quick moves to gain the speed advantage. Add in his ability to use his hands to fend off blockers, and his upper-body strength, and it's clear that smith has the tools that will keep him from washing out of the NFL, as long as he's in the right system.

The Sporting News:

One underclassman causing a lot of debate in NFL front offices is Smith. Some who have broken down his game film see a quick and athletic end with the long arms and physical tools to consistently defeat NFL offensive tackles and make a lot of plays as a pass rusher and vs. the run. Smith is raw and must become more consistent with his technique to maximize his talent and become an elite pass rusher.

On the other hand, some view him as a straight-line athlete who plays too upright and thus struggles to change directions. No one doubts his competitiveness, but he at times looks mechanical with a lack of good instincts.

Smith possesses a great deal of upside. He turned 21 in November and has played just five years of organized football.  Smith received a second round grade from the NFL advisory committee, but his stock has improved with post-season workouts.  Some seem to think he's a top 10 selection, while others have have him in the lower first round.

NFL comparison: Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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