It was a shocker of a selection. No mocks saw this one coming. No fans saw this one coming. Many figured that after the Arizona Cardinals' selection of cornerback Patrick Peterson, the San Francisco 49ers would either go with the next best cornerback in Prince Amukamara or maybe even quarterback with Blaine Gabbert. Instead, the team surprised everyone and took defensive end Aldon Smith of Missouri with their seventh overall selection.
Fans were very vocal with their reactions. Below are some quotes from fans from the 49erswebzone.com Facebook Fan Page
"Wow. No. 7 pick in the draft and this is who we selected? Very underwhelming, to say the least." - C.j. Gish who graded this selection a C
"Craptacular pick" - Ryan Sprague who graded this pick an F
"at least we won't be overrated this year!" - Chris Fong who graded this pick a C
"Stand this kid up in the 3-4 and let him get after the QB. This team needs a pass rush badly, not a bad pick at all" - Jim Stover
"This was a great pick......Aldon will tear it up....nice work coaches and front office." - Nick Reese
"With so many glaring needs you actually believe this was a decent pick? Farley, Prince and other players that were on the board you go for Aldon Smith?" - Rafael Gutierrez
"If your calling him a no name then you really havent been paying any attention to the combine or draft...He is a qb killer from the hymilayas homie." - Lamont Hall
"Aldon Smith is going to be a huge upgrade to our pass rush, great pick! No name kid, are you serious?" - Greg Malone
"Prepare to get your hearts broken" - Geronimo Garcia Jr.
"I liked it. Pass rusher that we needed. Gabbert wasn't worth the pick so QB wasn't an option, in my opinion." - Wamiq Babul
"Good player but bad pick when U Need A QB........WTF!!" - Durell Reels
"Without a good pass rush, your CBs won't be any good. I like the pick." - Dan Reeder
"Good pick......we don't need a rookie QB when we still have a bust QB on our roster. We need to go out there and get a veteran QB to train" - Armando Sanchez
"Sorry ass pick our major need was CB but no we let all of the good ones get away let's just let NATE clemens get burnt a whole yr again" - Javier Solis
"Not terribly happy with the pick. First thing I said was "WHO!?!?!" Personally I was hoping we'd get Locker, but then again, I'm not the coach...." - Glen Shook
"reach at #7" - Bryan Fields
"I dont agree with the pick cause I think we are in desparete need in other positions" - Hugo Saucedo
"it was definately a reach no question..but time will tell us if it really was...i think we could have gotten aldon smith probably at 10 or 11 but who know mcshay had him in his final mock at 5 to the cardinals...idk of how big of a reach it really was....this kid can get after the qb bottom line..lets be happy for our niners" - Jay Simon
"reach. visions of kentwan balmer." - Chris Christofferson
"just down right freaking stupid, your kiddin, we need a corner or qb. Prince was there" - Ricky Medina
"he's a beast!!! his motor is sick! bye Manny!!! LOL" - Giuseppe Maranto
"Glad we didn't take Gabbert but not happy with the pick we did make" - Jeremy Sawvel
"Stupid is an understatement...they panicked! He was a projected 14-18....they could have easily traded down and gotten him AND an extra pic. Good player, but NOT a #7 pic!" - Eddy Gerovian
"At first, I really hated the pick. I agree with the Balmer visions fellas. But after doing more research, he seems to have the potential to be a Top 5 OLB in the league. Toughness, agility, and wingspan being his strongest attributes. With that being said, I still don't like the pick. You could've retained Lawson, and drafted Fairley or Prince. (Sorry guys, QB is not worth the 7th overall pick this year) Does this mean we're gonna give Nnamdi a fat ass contract???? We still need a CB!" - Roland Gaza
"I know one thing about this guy. He's not gonna be like Balmer. He's got great game speed. Still not happy about the pick @ 7." - Eric Salzman
DraftCountdown.com had this to say about Aldon Smith:
Not yet a finished product after entering the 2011 NFL Draft as a redshirt sophomore but is supremely talented and one of the premier natural pass rushers available --- Similar in many ways to Jason Pierre-Paul and may ultimately go down as one of the best players to come out of this class if he fulfills his vast potential.
Date: December 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM
Comment: How's everyone feeling about Aldon Smith now?
Date: May 5, 2011 at 4:39 PM
Comment: SMITH will be an up grade to what we have! yeah we needed a corner but the right one that fits our system wasnt there...He is a beast,in 2 years youll see!! In 2 yrs were back to were wee need to be...Sit back and watch!!!
By: The Snitch
Date: May 2, 2011 at 1:10 PM
Comment: If this kid is the second coming of Fred Dean or Charles Haley, both of our corners can book flights to next year's Pro Bowl. A great pass rusher turns an average corner into an All-Pro. Book it. I think Baalke struck gold with last year's draft. I think he may have done it again.
By: Joe Snead
Date: May 2, 2011 at 10:55 AM
Comment: Aldon Smith from Missouri is still a youngster; but with incredible skills, and proven GOOD sack production while playing with a BROKEN LEG ... Upside is off the charts. Good foresight! Kaepernick has a rather intriguing stat in his pass % completion increasing every year. Good mobility, good W-L % In the long run, he, too, will surprise! I like the picks. The short, stocky, Kendall Hunter, too, is a winner. Good draft!
Date: May 1, 2011 at 10:17 AM
Comment: i think you say his name Balmer , but if he gets on the field , Rachal. Baalke showed how wet behind the ears he is. NO one wanted to trade up to our 7?
Date: April 29, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Comment: After months of anticipation I was blindsided with this pick. Most scouts compared him to Jason Pierre-Paul. I look at it this way Pierre-Paul wasn't drafted 7th overall and dude wasn't much of an impact for Giants his rookie season plus he didn't play much for the Giants at all. I think Baalke is trying to be too fancy with this pick and I think it will come to bite him at the end. If you look back at the organization Baalke came from an their track history with the draft it should ring a bell. Personally I wanted them to draft Jake Locker but if Coach Harbaugh doesn't feel like the remaining quarterback worthy of the 7th pick then I trust his judgement.
Date: April 29, 2011 at 11:37 AM
Comment: I was with a lot of you guys when they picked Smith. I thought there was at least three players we could have picked ahead of him, until I researched him last night. His teammates and coaches said he has a tremendous work ethic, his motor is non-stop and he finds a way to get to the QB. Obviously his toughness is not in question having played last year on one leg. Those are key things that makes players at his position not good, but great, so before all of you 49er faithful kill the organization for this pick let's see how good he'll be. Who knows in five years when we look back at this draft he could be one of the best players in this draft. Go Harbaugh!! And Go Niners!!!!
Date: April 29, 2011 at 11:18 AM
Comment: @ Zach Big difference is that Lawson had Mario Williams and this guy had nobody. He was the guy the opposition game-planned against and he was still very successful, even on a broken leg. The kid has heart which is more than I can say about many of our current Niners. Also, he won't be "covering" like Lawson. He will be dropping back in a zone for a short period from time to time. He will be primarily rushing the passer from ALL over the field (outside, inside) under Fangio which will open up things for Brooks and Willis as well. All those chances Clements took last year and got burned? With a good pass rush those chances turn into Pick 6's. How many games did we lose b/c the pass rush coulnd't get there when we needed it most? How many times did our secondary have to play off 15 yards b/c our pass rush could'nt get there? How many times could our defense NOT get off the field and give the ball back to the offense? This ONE move (if he is productive) helps every aspect of this team more than ANY CB could coming out of the draft and playing at the NFL speed. This guy can focus on one thing right out of the gate - pass rushing!
Date: April 29, 2011 at 11:10 AM
Comment: HAHA... you said "shocker".
Date: April 29, 2011 at 11:09 AM
Comment: I am a huge 49ers fan that lives in kansas city, mo. I am also a huge Missouri Tigers fan. The first time me and my friends saw Aldon Smith play as a redshirt freshmen, we knew he would be terrorizing quarterbacks on sundays. My friends. being Chiefs fans, wanted him bad. Me, jokingly said I wish the 9ers would take him. 2 years later, here we are with the most unbelievable circumstance of getting the guy I loved watching in college from my favorite college team, the MU Tigers. I watched every game of his the past 2 years. I know alot of people didn't know who he was. The only reason he was so under the radar, along with Gabbert, was because people didn't think they would come out there junior year. This time next year I truly believe that Aldon would have been a consensus top 10 pick. I love this guy and I know he will be a great fit for the 9ers. I have read many, many negative fan reactions to this pick, and all I can say is that people only wanted what all the other analysts had at value for that pick. Especially people who wanted Prince Amakumara. I got to watch alot of him in the Big 12 as well, but I don't think he will be one of the top corners in the nfl. There is a reason
Date: April 29, 2011 at 10:47 AM
Comment: I'm ok with this pick as long as we go out and get Nnamdi Asomugha, because I could live with an ok pass rush but not with lousy pass coverage.
Date: April 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM
Comment: I don't get why everybody is so bummed on this pick. After Miller and Peterson, the remaining talent was about the same down to the twenties. Mayock had him rated 13th in his top 100. Yah, a reach but anybody at that spot was a reach. If they couldn't trade out, at least they got their guy.
Date: April 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM
Comment: For you guys that give the pick a D or F because we didn't take the Prince, there is a reason why Prince slide to pick #20.
Date: April 29, 2011 at 10:23 AM
Comment: I'm really losing faith I'm Harbaugh. Ppl shut up about the "sexy pick" I don't care if the pick is sexy or not. The bottom line is there was 5 players at least (in positions we need) who are betterthan this smith guy, and we blew it. This was a MAJOR gaffe by harbaugh. Do they really have faith enough in Clements and Spencer to be our CBs next year? Harbaugh and baalke are showing they are incompetent
By: David McGlothlin
Date: April 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM
Comment: Unfaithful people; please give this kid a chance. Came back from a broken leg in 5 weeks and played, limping, and had a 58 yd int return against Oklahoma. We need character and tuffness + some pass rush. I agree with dude who said bye bye Manny!
By: Vic Roy
Date: April 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM
Comment: good pick, we needed a pass rusher badly, this kid is explosive and could provide a pass rush from day one ...but lets grab a CB with our next pick
Date: April 29, 2011 at 10:12 AM
Comment: I'm watching his highlights and I'm seeing a guy who has speed and athleticism and great length but who apparently only gets sacks when unblocked. He's basically Manny Lawson without the cover skills as far as I can tell. 17 sacks in two years while Lawson had 18 his last two years in college. Huh?