Last name: Aldon smith Position: EDGE University: Missouri Size: 6-5 Weight: 255 Season: 6th Games studied: 2015 (Raiders against Minnesota and Pittsburgh); 2012 (49ers against Chicago)
Smith is a long and long EDGE defender with a natural pass rushing ability. The sixth-year pro took the league by assault with 42.5 sacks in the first 43 games of his career, displaying an exceptional combination of strength, power and explosiveness. Smith was an unstoppable force as a breaker when he had the freedom to chase the quarterback on bullfights or TE stunts (defensive end and defensive attack spread responsibilities) , especially early in his career with the 49ers when he demonstrated exceptional chemistry with Justin Smith. on a variety of games.
With the Raiders (2015), Smith did not display the power, explosiveness or bursting that made him a leading All-Pro defender in his second season. The veteran defender continued to attack the edge blockers with his long arms and active hands, but could not dominate his opponents with his brute force and did not show the sequencing skills to win with an assortment of counters when it was blocked on the line. If Smith tried to win with speed or finesse, the blockers would sit on his movements and block him before he worked their edges. Although he previously used similar moves to win as a young player, he did not have the same contraction or explosiveness that made him a dynamic rusher. Smith’s QB sacks (3) with the Raiders were the result of “free” (unobstructed) runs to the quarterback or blockages blocked at the point of attack.
As a race defender, Smith is a defender able to stack and throw over the edge. It effectively uses its length to control blockers at the point of attack and works to seal the edge while maintaining proper leverage. Smith plays with enough effort and energy to win more than his fair share of borderline battles in the racing game, but he could heighten the turmoil in away games. To be a key contributor to a defense as this stage of his career, he will have to transform himself into a high-powered player with greater emphasis on his skills as a race advocate.
Powerful player with long arms and active hands Enlightens with explosive strength and power as a pass pusher Productive and disruptive game producer during its peak
Lack of speed and bursting at the first step of elite Doubtful endurance and endurance Unrefined technician Rust from prolonged layoff
What do scouts say?
When Smith was with Oakland, he was good but not elite. It has the natural ability to play on the edge with its length and natural power. It was not as explosive and the final quarterback gust had dropped, but occasionally blinked. You wonder how good Smith could have been if he could have stayed focused on and off the field.
How does he fit in with the Cowboys?
Smith should be considered a joker for the Cowboys. The veteran defender did not adapt to a regular season game in four years and his game was in decline at that time. Although he may be in better mental and physical shape, it is hard to imagine a 30-year-old rust shake-up to reappear as the first player in this position. That said, Smith could become a solid contributor as an EDGE defender and situational assist for the Cowboys. He joins his former defensive line coach (Jim Tomsula) and plays in a pattern that should put him in a position to play. If Smith can get into world class form and rediscover some reliable pass rushing moves, he could Mike Nolan a rotational power rusher in the riser enclosure.