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NFL Draft 2011: 49ers Surprise Folks Drafting OLB Aldon Smith From Missouri

While most 49ers fans were expecting a Missouri football player at the seven pick, very few were expecting it to be outside linebacker Aldon Smith. Most folks figured Blaine Gabbert would end up being the pick, in spite of thoughts that he was a bad choice. Well, the 49ers did not in fact like Gabbert enough to take him at seven.

The 49ers do need an upgrade in the pass rushing department, so Aldon Smith is not a terribly shocking pick. At the same time, one has to wonder if the team could have moved back to get him. Of course, a team needs a partner to move back and it is possible nobody wanted to move back with the 49ers.

The folks at Mocking The Draft are intrigued by his pass rushing skills. Although he seems to lack a defined position, he’ll get a crack at rushing the passer from the OLB in the 49ers 3-4, and also probably the DE spot when they mix in some 4-3.

Here is there “Final Word” on Smith:

Final word: Smith was a sensation as a freshman, but was slowed as a sophomore due to fractured right leg. That caused him to miss the first three weeks of the 2010 season. On the year, he had 48 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Still, Smith is ready for the NFL. He’s so intriguing because few possess his ability to get after the passer. In the 4-3, Missouri used him on the inside and outside with good results. If he develops more power, he should be a terror as a 4-3 defensive end. If not, he might work better as a 3-4 outside linebacker.