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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Aldon Smith Could Be Trade Up Candidate

The top of the NFL draft can be shaken when a team choosing lower in the first round has its sights set on a particular player. Usually it’s someone with a higher ceiling for potential than others, and that’s exactly what some draft writers are seeing with Aldon Smith, the talented defensive end/linebacker out of Missouri.

Smith’s draft stock has been well-chronicled here, moving around the teens and commonly linked with choices like No. 16 to the Jaguars or No. 18 to the Chargers. The Texans at No. 11 have been the highest team drafting Smith in common mock drafts, but the National Football Post’s Wes Bunting has Smith possibly going one choice higher — albeit in a trade.

Executing a trade for the Detroit Lions, Bunting believes the Redskins need to move down combined with the Lions need for a pass rusher could create an interesting situation:

The Redskins desperately need to get out of this pick and acquire more selections to fill more needs later in the draft. The hard part will be finding a trade partner. I love the pressure the Lions generate up front, but I think they’re one more legit pass rusher away on the outside from developing into one of the league’s best. Smith is a gifted athlete who can play up and down, inside or out and at only 21 years old the kid has the skill set and passion to mature into one of the league’s best. However, in order for the Lions to get him I think they might need to leapfrog the Vikings and Texans.

The oft-quoted scouting report on Aldon Smith was that he would be a surefire Top 10 player in next year’s draft with another year of experience at the college level. However, it seems that potential might be enough to make him one a year earlier.