6-5 260lbs Sophomore
2009- 64tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 1 forced fumbles, 5 pass breakups
Aldon Smith burst onto the scene last season as one of the top pass rushers in College Football. His 19 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks were truly remarkable. Smith has an excellent burst off the line of scrimmage and using good snap recognition to get a jump on most plays. This jump allows him to catch a lot of offensive linemen off guard as he flies past them into the backfield. Smith has freakishly long arms which allow him to keep himself free from blocks and unleash his devastating swim move. He also utilizes his size and long arms to bat down attempted passes. The attribute that stands out the most is his high motor. Smith is always going 100% and that allows him to exploit some lazy offensive linemen. Watch the attached video and you will see the talent and potential Smith has as a pass rusher.
Right now it seems that Smith is getting by on pure athleticism, his swim move, and high motor. He needs to continue to develop different pass rush moves as offenses figure out how to limit the effectiveness of his swim move. The biggest concern when you talk about Smith projecting to the NFL is his strength and bulk. He is going to be stuck with the tweener label because he doesn’t have enough bulk to stand up against the bigger offensive linemen. At 260lbs teams will likely be asking Smith to convert to outside linebacker and mainly for the 3-4 defensive scheme. This is going to be a transition for Smith as he hasn’t been asked to drop into coverage while at Missouri. When I look at Smith I quickly compare him to the Bills Aaron Maybin. Was in a similar situation as Smith in that he burst onto the scene as an undersized defensive end. Last season he struggled and is now being asked to convert to outside linebacker. The top reason for the conversion for Smith will be because of questions surrounding his ability to stuff the run. I think that being in the Big 12 hurts his stock a little because the majority of the teams do not employ a power run attack so he wont be able to prove the doubter wrong. The spread offenses allow him to pin his ears back and focus on getting into the backfield.
The NFL is obsessed with creating pressure on the quarterback so Smith is going to get attention. However I question his ability to drop back in coverage. In some film I watch he looked a little stiff and upright in the open field. I think that he would benefit by returning to school and continuing to build strength and add bulk. He has a large frame that could handle the added weight and still keep his explosiveness.
If Smith came out early I think he is looking at hearing his name called in the 2nd-3rd round. But there just isnt a lot of experience here to make a very good judgment. Another good year could help his stock.
Topics: 2010 NFL Draft, 2011 NFL Draft, 2011 NFL Draft Prospect Big Board, 2011 NFL Draft Scouting Reports, 2nd Round Draft Pick, 3rd Round Draft Pick, Aaron Maybin, Aldon Smith, Buffalo Bills, Missouri, NFL Draft, Sacks, Top College Pass Rushers, Top Draft Pass Rushers, Tweener