Originally posted by PiratePete:
CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang has "real reservations" about No. 7 overall pick Aldon Smith's fit in the 49ers' defense.Rang liked the fact that the 49ers drafted a pass rusher, but much preferred Smith as a 4-3 defensive end as opposed to a 3-4 outside 'backer. "Quite frankly," writes Rang, "I see Smith growing out of the position and struggling to put up the numbers expected of a player taken so high." Rang believes that the 21-year-old Smith will only get bigger, which won't help his already suspect change-of-direction skills and balance as a pass rusher.
I think its a valid point. I'm not sure it's accurate but it is valid.
Good quote but I don't believe this is valid. Aldon will NOT be covering so a "suspect change-of-direction" skill set is not required. Play recognition is...meaning, as he grows in this defense, he'll need to continue to pass rush en route to stopping the run from ALL over the field and learn to recognize screens quickly whereby a change of direction would be required (but rarely). That said, it WON'T be "in coverage." Fangio, like with the other three LBers and perhaps a DE from time to time will drop him back in a zone "area" for a second or two to create confusion for the QB but he will immediately pass him off to the next defender in the zone. We will not see a Lawson, LaBoy, Haralson, Brooks, et. al "covering" a guy and staying with him for 30-40 yards down the field anymore. Those days are over...
The transition will be relatively easy for him as well too as Fangio will ask him to pin his ears back and pass rush (how odd for an OLB in our 3-4 defense, eh?) so he'll be able to use his God-given abilities to do that right out of the gate! Later, he'll learn the intricacies of the position and the entire defense around him. I think Fangio will properly game-plan too to create mismatches with him by attacking weaknesses along the offensive line and naturally, move him all over the field to create said mismatches (think Clay Matthews).
[ Edited by NCommand on Jun 24, 2011 at 13:29:52 ]