Another few weeks, another mock draft emerges from ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper. This time around, Aldon Smith heads to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the No. 16 position in the first round. The talented Missouri defensive end also projects to play outside linebacker by some scouts, giving the bonus and curse of being labeled a tweener by some and versatile by others.
The knock on Smith is that he's a raw project and that usually means some time without on-field results, but that's not how Kiper sees things. He writes:
Another guy I'm sticking with from the previous mock, Smith offers a raw talent package with a lot of upside. He's a player who could easily have been a top-10 pick in 2012 had he stuck around Missouri for another year of development. The Jags went for veterans to spackle over the holes at defensive end last year, but it's time to develop some edge talent to go with what is a really promising defensive interior. Smith is an ideal developmental option who can still help in 2011.
The addition of young defensive tackle Tyson Alualu marked the Jags draft class last year and the results were very promising. Adding Smith bolsters a line and gives the Jags some fierce talent up front against some incredible quarterbacks in the AFC South.