Thursday, April 28, 2011

San Francisco 49ers: Drafting Aldon Smith Means the Return of Alex Smith

So with Blaine Gabbert, Prince Amukamara and Robert Quinn still on the 2011 NFL Draft board, the 49ers drafted a 21-year-old defensive end from Missouri.

Welcome to the San Francisco 49ers Aldon Smith?

It doesn't have the same ring to it that maybe Blaine Gabbert does, but it is a somewhat knowledgeable pick.

If I could compare the pick to another Bay Area team's draft pick, it would be the Golden State Warriors' selection of Anthony Randolph in 2008.

A young player full of potential with freakish ability, but needs some work in order to be good at the NFL level. He can either be a great pass-rusher in the future or a total bust depending on how the 49ers choose to coach him.

Those two options are not what a #7 overall pick is all about, but I digress.

If the 49ers could learn anything from the Golden State Warriors, it would be to not coach Aldon Smith like Don Nelson coached Randolph.

Off the bat, the 49ers will choose to play Aldon Smith not as a defensive end, as he played at Missouri, but as an outside linebacker. Think of it as how the 49ers chose to play Manny Lawson. The two are the spitting image of one another in how their game relates to the NFL.

We found out one thing through all of the chaos that was the 49ers passing up several NFL-ready players in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. The big one may be hard to hear for some 49er fans, but Alex Smith will be coming back as a 49er. Done deal now.

The 49ers passed up on Gabbert as they rightly should. It just means that Jim Harbaugh believes that Alex Smith has the tools needed for the 49ers to make the playoffs. Or at least he believes he can work with Alex Smith to where he can be ready to lead this team to the playoffs.

Expect an Alex Smith deal with the 49ers in the coming days, especially since the NFL is now open for business.

Do not rule out the 49ers drafting a quarterback in the second round. Look for them to eye Andy Dalton or Ricky Stanzi in Round Two.

The Aldon Smith selection may have not been the sexiest move out of GM Trent Baalke, who promised to pick the best player available, but Aldon Smith has talent. He also has growing to do, but you can only trust in Harbaugh and the rest of the 49ers' new coaches that they will make all the right decisions with a kid that has a ton of potential, but needs work.

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