2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Aldon Smith
What a nice surprise Aldon Smith has been for the Missouri Tigers. The former Raytown Senior High School standout made his impact as a pure pass rusher for Missouri in his first two seasons after red-shirting as a true freshman.
Player Name: Aldon Smith
Position: Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
Arm: 35 3/8
Smith is one of the more athletic pass rushers entering the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s very quick off of the snap, and has an excellent swim move to penetrate the line of scrimmage. He gets up field in a hurry and does a nice job moving laterally as well as playing in space. He has very long arms, and he does a nice job of using them to separate from the opposition. He has a non-stop motor, playing extremely hard from the first snap of the game, to the very last. He will be a load to handle against slower offensive tackles which lack a great initial punch at the next level.
Despite his 260 pound listing, he doesn’t look the part, and Smith isn’t very strong. He only seems to have his swim move and relies often on pure athleticism and quickness off the edge to get into the backfield. He will most likely make the transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker, and he will need to improve in coverage as he’s just mediocre when dropping back. He will struggle against bullying tackles because of his lack of overall strength. He could use work in breaking down and tackling in the open field, as he tends to look stiff at times, and he will get bullied against the run. He is quite raw, and will need to become a more versatile player at the next level.
It’s quite tough to see where Smith’s value lies as of now. Some have him as a Top 10 prospect, and others as low as the early 3rd round. Personally, I see him as a late first/early second round talent with potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He could sneak into the Top 20 with an excellent NFL Combine, as well. As of now, I see him slipping to the 45th pick in the NFL Draft to San Francisco, and no later than that. Tampa Bay, Baltimore, New England, New York (Jets), and Pittsburgh could all look to grab him in the late first.
NFL Comparison: Terrell Suggs