Add the Niners to the Kevin Kolb sweepstakes


Analysis:

I don't know if this is a reach of not.  Pass rushers in the NFL are premium players.  I personally like some of the other players a lot more, but Smith is really young (even for a rookie), and Jim Harbaugh has all the time in the world as a new head coach to let him develop.

The 49ers are also now huge players in the Kevin Kolb sweepstakes.

Highlights:


National Football Post Scouting Report:

A tall, extremely long-armed defensive lineman with an athletic-looking frame and impressive explosion in all areas of his game. Possesses natural bend when asked to sit into his stance, coils up well and consistently takes a positive first step off the line and does a nice job keeping his pad level down off the football. Is a bit inconsistent extending his arms into blocks when run at and at times seems content to simply drop his shoulder and drive his way toward the football. However, seems to really have good instincts when asked to find the football and is very violent with his arms when asked to shed blocks. At times will allow defenders to gain leverage under him and can be initially driven off the ball. But, fights hard in order to disengage, uses his length and violent hands well to shed and possesses impressive closing range in pursuit. Is also very sudden and fluid for his size and has the footwork/balance to cleanly side step defenders who are trying to get into his frame, keep himself clean and close quickly on the ball carrier. Breaks down well in space and uses his long pterodactyl-like arms to wrap on his man.

Is a gifted pass rusher who fires off the snap quickly and has a real savvy about his game getting after the quarterback. Plays from both a three- and four-point stance and does a great job quickly getting into the pad level of opposing linemen in the bull rush and initially driving them into the backfield. Allows his pad level to rise, which negates some of his strength when trying to finish, but is long enough to shed. Does a nice job using his long arms and violent hands in order to keep himself clean, loves to work the club to the outside, slowly playing it off the snap before accelerating past the tackle. He also has impressive lateral fluidity in balance working the inside arm over and club off his speed rush in order to cleanly side step blocks and accelerate toward the quarterback. Allows his pad level to get upright again once he gains a step and can be slowed through contact, but the motor seems to run well all the time. Has the ability to drop his pad level when flattening out around the edge once he gains a step, but doesn't often simply work the speed rush to the corner, likes to change gears and directions in order to reach the QB.

Also, is a bear to block inside as a down defensive tackle, played some three-technique and has the first step to shoot gaps inside, but it's his lateral suddenness and length that allows him to consistently slip blocks inside and accelerate toward the quarterback.

Missed some time in 2010 with a fractured fibula in a non-weight bearing bone in his leg and will need to check out medically.

Impression: A downright dominant defensive lineman with an impressive physical skill set and great length. Showcases impress savvy, fluidity and violence as a pass rusher and should be able to further develop in the run game and mature into a potential Pro Bowl-caliber NFL defensive lineman.

 

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