The big news over the weekend saw outside linebacker Aldon Smith get arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for "false report of a bomb threat." As soon as word got out that he had been detained by the police, the first reaction for many was that the team should release or trade Smith. We don't have all the facts at this point, but people were sufficiently fed up as to quickly react.
It's a bit of a coincidence that news came out this morning that the San Francisco 49ers are going to bring in Boise State outside linebacker Demarcus Lawrence for a visit next week. I'm pretty sure the timing is completely coincidental, but it does come at a time where the 49ers have to figure out what's next with Aldon Smith. They have until May 3 to pick up his 2015 option. If they pick it up, it is only guaranteed for injury until next March, so the team is not locked into anything.
Lawrence played defensive end in college. He could potentially do some 4-3 defensive end work, but there would seem to be a good chance he ends up as a 3-4 outside linebacker. I posted some scouting reports below, and the weaknesses seem to focus on his lack of strength and his coverage skills. However, if he were to join a team like the 49ers, he likely would be able to focus on the pass rush initially, and then build from there.
As it currently stands, I still don't see the 49ers going outside linebacker or defensive line in the first couple rounds. The 49ers might disagree with me, and feel they need some more options. Or maybe we see Corey Lemonier get even more opportunities. Whatever happens with Aldon Smith, Lemonier is likely going to get worked into the rotation even more in 2014.
Here's a quick rundown of some of Lawrence's pertinent measurements and performances from the Combine:
Height: 6'2" (and 7/10)
Weight: 251 lbs
Arm length: 33 3/4"
40-time: 4.80 (Pro Day: 4.69)
Bench Press: 20
Vertical: 34 1/2"
3-cone drill: 7.46