NEW YORK — If the Detroit Lions take Aldon Smith with the 13th pick in tonight’s NFL draft, Von Miller said there’s a good chance they’ll have back-to-back Defensive Rookie of the Years.
Miller was asked to name his favorite for the award, excluding himself, at the NFL Players Association Rookie Debut pre-draft function today.
“Aldon Smith,” he said without hesitation. “He’s a great guy on and off the field. And I really enjoyed the way he played. He played this year with a broken leg and he still had a lot of big plays, a lot of success. And if not him, Marcell Dareus honorable mention.”
Smith, who can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 system, is a potential top-10 pick and might not get past the Houston Texans at No. 11. He set a Missouri record with 11 1/2 sacks as a redshirt freshman and had 5 1/2 last year despite a fractured right fibula.
The Lions are well stocked along the defensive line, but they won’t hesitate to add a top-flight pass rusher today to pair with reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh.
Smith visited the Lions last month.
“He’s a big guy — he’s a huge guy,” Miller said. “Fast, quick. He can play through pain as he’s demonstrated this year. If you just cut on the film of that guy you’ll see why I think he should be Defensive Rookie of the Year.”