Since the 49ers first round is done for now, pending a potential trade back into the first round, it seems like a good time to start poking around scouting reports on the newest member of the 49ers, OLB Aldon Smith. The 2011 NFL Draft left some 49ers fans with their heads shaking, but Aldon Smith is an intriguing pass rush talent.
For starters, let’s take a look at the ESPN Scouts Inc Scouting Report. It’s hidden behind a paid wall but I’ll pull out some of the important details for you.
Pass Rush: It sounds like he can play too tall at times and can struggle versus bigger offensive tackles. That can be a problem, but in the 3-4 he will have either Justin Smith or Isaac Sopoaga working to open up some holes for him to bust through.
Versus the Run: He’s got some solid athleticism, although not the quickest first step. “He shows quick feet and excellent change-of-direction skills on double moves and delayed twists. Perfect example comes when he smokes first-round LOT prospect Nate Solder (Colorado) with outside-in move in 2010. He has a more powerful club move than expected (see: sack from DT position vs. Illinois, 2010).”
Versatility: “Flashes ability to rush the passer from inside. Also shows decent fluidity for his size when occasionally dropping into underneath coverage. Best-suited to play RDE in an even front but also has potential to play ROLB in a 3-4 or in a hybrid role.”