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2011 NFL Draft: 49ers Take Aldon Smith, My Thoughts

I really couldn't see this coming.  I don't know who called this one, to be honest with you.  Aldon Smith was supposed to be guaranteed to go to Houston or soon thereafter, but it's been a while since I heard of him in the top 10.  The major thing I've heard lately on Smith is that he might be a better DE at the next level than OLB.

I have to say in a way I'm relieved that it wasn't Blaine Gabbert, who I feel is the second-coming of Alex Smith, maybe worse.  Aldon Smith (who interestingly enough has the name A. Smith) was a good player and should get into the 3rd down pass rush rotation immediately, but I wonder if he can stand up and shed, slide down the line, make plays in the run game, and most importantly, can he cover?

Chances are Smith will play weakside and Haralson will be a backup, rotational player, or traded.  Of course, Manny Lawson could leave in Free agency (though if the Free Agency period opens up under 2010 rules, Lawson would be a RFA and I think the 49ers would keep him) which would put Smith in a competition for SAM (strong-side, wherever the TE lines up).

He's athletic, but I hate 3-4 OLB prospects this high unless they are named Von Miller.  OK, I don't "hate" Smith, but I wouldn't expect him to blow it up for a few years.  I hope I'm being pessimistic unnecessarily and that Smith puts up 10 sacks in his rookie year (yeah right) but at any was a puzzling pick.

My choice would have been to trade down, but I guess they were really high on Aldon Smith, cause otherwise I'm sure someone would have traded up for Blaine Gabbert or Robert Quinn.  Prince Amukamara would have also been in play, but Baalke must see something in Smith...and I hope he's right.