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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Aldon Smith Headed To Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be the perfect landing spot for someone like Missouri's Aldon Smith. That's the thought process behind the latest mock draft from SB Nation, and it's a choice that makes sense -- assuming, at least, that Smith falls that far. To date, Smith comes off of the board around the 16th choice, so if he's around at 20, that could become a steal.

Someone knows what they are doing in Tampa Bay. That much is abundantly clear. The young front office anchored by Mark Dominik and a coaching staff led by Raheem Morris have outperformed the expectations of most with 10 wins in 2010 after a dismal three-win season the year before. Their gunslinger of a quarterback, Josh Freeman, clearly blossomed in his first full season, the lines are young and the talent at the skill positions is obvious.

Some needs are still present, but a pick like Smith makes sense. Thus you have the following from SB Nation's Brian Galliford, "The Bucs desperately need an end, and here, they'd get to pick between raw upside (Smith) and consistent production (Ryan Kerrigan). Smith seems like a better fit all around for the young, improving and vastly underrated Buccaneers."

Last year, the Bucs focused on the interior of the defensive line, taking Gerald McCoy early and Brian Price from UCLA a bit later. Neither one freed up the pass rushers, but d-linemen take some time, so expect some improvement in sacks simply from the evolution of both players. Adding an athlete like Smith also brings another player off the edge to take advantage of one-on-one match-ups. If Smith is available, it's a pick that makes sense.