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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Aldon Smith Finding Familiar First-Round Territory

Missouri’s incredibly athletic defensive end and linebacker prospect Aldon Smith continues to find his home near the very center of the NFL draft’s first round — at least according to the mocks that continue to roll in from sportswriters. With a constant position moving through the teens, Smith’s draft stock is becoming fairly predictable.

Mark Ingram is the most entrenched player in the middle of the first round of most mocks — consistently heading to the Dolphins at No. 15. Outside of that, Smith is a constant favorite to head to teams choosing from 11 to 19, whether the Texans grab him early or the Giants snag him late. Recently, the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 16 have been the favorites.

Mel Kiper recently tabbed Smith for the Jags pick in his latest mock and now Don Banks does the same in Sports Illustrated’s recent release:

The Jaguars are looking to jack up their pass rush quotient (once again) and this is about the neighborhood in which most think Smith will come off the board. He has the size and speed to get to the quarterback, but as an underclassman might need a little time to hone his craft and bulk up his body in the NFL.

The Jags certainly would benefit from another pass rusher to team alongside last year’s selection of Tyson Alualu, who has the flexibility to move both inside and outside. Smith would match that versatility as a guy who can drop back or set up along the line.