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Aldon Smith's Expectations Year One In Vic Fangio's Defense

So, it's clear that the 49ers drafted Aldon Smith in the first round to be the starting weakside linebacker of the future. He's got all the potential in the world there and draws comparisons to guys like Demarcus Ware for good reason. He's a very athletic pass rusher who can make the transition to an every-down outside linebacker with less of a learning curve than most because of that athleticism. Already possessing above-average hips and closing speed, he'll only have to learn how to use his body for positioning to keep coverage, and will, of course, need to refine his pass-rush moves from a standing position.

Still, it's a learning curve that 95% of the star outside linebackers in this league had to go through, and a good portion of them were good from the get-go, is it realistic to expect the same thing from Smith? I don't like truly comparing players personally, and that seems to be something that coaches agree with. Can we say that he faces the same challenged and probably posseses the skill to overcome that? I believe that's fair, but I don't like to say "Well, Ware did it, so Smith can too," because Ware is a proven veteran of the sport who will be great for many more years before he's through.

Aldon Smith has everything to prove and, with the state of the current crop of outside linebackers on the roster, fans will be impatient regarding his development time. When you're the seventh overall pick, you have a lot of expectations. I'm eager to see what the expectations are personally for you folks here ... do you see a guy who will come in and be a complete outside linebacker from day one, who will hone his skills on the fly? Or do you see a guy who will come in and be a pass rusher only and not an every-down kind of guy?