Both were high draft picks selected at premium positions of impact for the NFL. But both will have to wait their turn. Aldon Smith of the San Francisco 49ers and Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars were selected early in the 2011 NFL Draft last April for their ability to impact the game on opposite sides. But their chances will come in the future as both were announced as back-ups heading into week one of the regular season.
Smith was known for his pass rushing instincts and incredible athleticism, a well-respected and rare trait that earns top defensive dollars in the NFL (i.e. Tamba Hali's recent extension). On the other side, Gabbert was selected as the future franchise quarterback for the Jags after showcasing considerable skills at Mizzou. Both come with high expectations and should become impact players for their respective teams, but both should sit on Sunday, save for situational usage for Smith for the 49ers.
Gabbert's rise to the top should come soon enough, however, for the Jags given the recent release of David Garrard, the incumbent starter. The same can be said of Smith given that the Niners could use his talents on the field from day one. In fact, even though Parys Haralson held him off for the starting OLB slot, it wouldn't surprise if Smith got some nice looks in the Niners opener this weekend.
Both will make some kind of impact this season, but don't expect much in week one.