It's hard to predict where Missouri DE Aldon Smith will go in the draft. I've seen some 2011 NFL mock drafts, like one from NFL Network's Michael Lombardi last week, that have him going to the San Francisco 49ers with the seventh overall pick. And then we have others that have him dropping into the 20s.
Me? I don't see him getting past St. Louis with the Rams picking 14th. SB Nation's latest 2011 NFL mock draft has him dropping all the way to 20th and going to the Bucs:
No matter how the first round projects each time we shake this up, a defensive end lands here. That's a beautiful thing for the pass rush-needy Bucs, and in this case, they're getting a guy in Smith that could very well be the best of the bunch when it's over with.
I hadn't thought much about the Bucs and it's interesting that this is one spot ahead of Kansas City. The Bucs run a 4-3 scheme and that's what Smith has experience in so from that aspect that makes sense. Smith's also being considered by some teams in a 3-4 defense to become an outside linebacker. It's unclear which way he prefers.
Smith does have that boom or bust feel to him where he could be the best pass rusher in this group, and it's a very talented defensive end group this year.