Aldon Smith vs. Illinois (via AloAloysius)
6-4 265, 4.74 forty, 1.68 10yd split
2009 -- 19 TFL, 11.5 sacks
2010 -- 10 TFL, 4.5 sacks
From what I can gather, Smith is projected to be taken somewhere around pick #15, give or take a few slots. But sometimes guys can drop inexplicably (e.g. Kyle Wilson). If this guy does, I think we should move up a few slots (if we can) and snatch him up. His combine numbers won't wow you. But his game tape sure will. One of the qualities I like to look for, especially in a first rounder, is whether the prospect has that look about him that he's a man amongst boys. Aldon Smith certainly has that look. Two things about him that really excite me are: 1) he's a redshirt sophmore, so his body is still maturing and he'll naturally gain more man-strength in the coming years; and 2) he fractured his fibula halfway through his sophmore season and only missed 3 games, finishing out the season injured for his team. He's a tough mofo.
Now... on to his game. If I had to describe him with one word that word would be MENANCE. Thats right, all caps. He's got a long frame with the long arms to go with it; something that I think is a big plus for pure pass rushers. He's got the absolute sickest inside step I think I've ever seen. He does it so much that you know the opponent has to know its coming and be prepared for it, but he's still very succesful with it; so much so that he makes people look silly at times by leaving them with nothing but air to grab. He's country strong with very quick and very very very violent hands. He disengages so easily that often times he looks like he's slippery. And his short area quickness coupled with his strength allows him to bull rush with ease. He's got a fantastic motor, great insticts, he's got a nasty streak, and a high tolerance for pain. He's athletic and versatile enough to play OLB in 3-4 alignments and DE in 4-3 alignments. He his strength and athleticism also allowed him to play a lot of DT in college on passing downs.
This is one of those guys that just oozes talent. It just drips off of him. And he's still just a baby. Basically, if Rex had a wet dream and he ejaculated an outside linebacker... it would be Aldon Smith.