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2011 NFL Draft: Aldon Smith May Need To Make 3-4 Defense Leap

SB Nation's latest mock draft from Brian Galliford is up, and that means some movement up and down the predicted draft board for local prospects like Aldon Smith. The Missouri defensive standout has been linked to not only several teams and draft slots, but several positions as well -- leading some to question whether he will fall as a tweener or rise because of his versatility.

According to Galliford, the Texans are the team to grab Smith's defensive prowess and athleticism at the No. 11 position. With a new defensive coordinator coming over from the Cowboys in Wade Phillips, Galliford sees the connection to Smith as his primary rushing weapon: "Some question whether or not Smith is capable of playing 3-4 outside linebacker. In Wade Phillips' one-gap system, his natural athleticism and pass rushing ability would be at the forefront."

Smith would essentially become Phillips new DeMarcus Ware to play with on the field and torment opposing quarterbacks through a myriad of schemes meant to disrupt the passing game and offensive timing. Certainly, Smith's agility and speed translate well into that role, although some question his experience and wish he would have played for another year at the college level. Yet teams won't usually wait on such strong potential in a pass rusher, so such a high reach is a definite possibility in the draft.