With the twenty-fourth pick in the 2011 BGN Mock Draft, Shady is an Eagle! selects...
Aldon Smith - DE, Missouri
Last year, New Orleans' starting defensive ends, Will Smith and Alex Brown, combined for just 7.5 sacks. They are also 29 and 31 years old respectively. It's clear that this position needs a boost in youth and talent. They get both of those things in Aldon Smith. Smith is a raw, but extremely promising pass-rusher out of Missouri. His greatest physical characteristics are his freakishly long arms (35 3/8 inches). Those coupled with his outstanding quickness made him one of the toughest assignments in the nation these past 2 years for offensive linemen, and should serve him very well in the NFL. He'll be able to help the Saints right away as a situational pass-rusher, and should develop into a full-time starter within a year or two after.
Aldon Smith arrived on the national scene in his redshirt freshman season in 2009. In that year, Smith racked up 19 tackles for loss, including 11.5 sacks. His best game of the season came against the best team he faced that season, the Texas Longhorns. In that game Missouri got whalloped by the second ranked team in the nation, but Smith proved he was the real deal. He finished the game with 11 tackles, 4 of them for loss, and 2 sacks. The following week he showed he was no fluke by getting 3 sacks against Colorado in a dominating performance shown after the jump.
In his sophomore and final season, he wasn't as impressive statistically, tallying 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, due to an injury sustained in the third game of the season. Smith broke a bone in his leg and was forced to miss 3 games. In evaluating Smith, one shouldn't worry too much about his lack of statistical production in his sophomore season. He was playing through an injury and we can't know for certain how far from 100% he was. His freshman season tells us plenty about the player Aldon Smith is capable of becoming once he adds the neccessary bulk, an elite NFL 4-3 defensive end.
Another possibility at this spot for the Saints is Akeem Ayers, an outside linebacker from UCLA. The Saints linebacking corps could also use a boost, but Smith has much more potential and, after running an extremely disappointing 4.81 in the 40 yard dash at the combine, Ayers looks like he may be better suited as inside linebacker in the 3-4 than as an outside linebacker in the 4-3. The Saints should be happy to wind up with Aldon Smith on draft day.
Next on the clock will be outsyderz34 with the Seattle Seahawks.
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