NFL Draft Picks: San Francisco 49ers Go Bold and Take Aldon Smith

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IApril 28, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissoner Roger Goodell greets Aldon Smith, #7 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers, during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Aldon Smith a Great Choice for the 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have been letting everyone know they had no interest in taking a quarterback in the first round, but few of the experts believed them.

But it makes sense. The 49ers have a lot of holes on their defense and the quarterback situation is a tricky one.

Aldon Smith now gives the 49ers a great pass rushing threat, and he figures to be an integral part of that defense for years to come.

When it comes to quarterback, this is a win-win situation; if Alex Smith does come back and re-sign with the 49ers, and if Smith wants to start, the 49ers probably are his best chance of doing that. If Smith bombs, then the 49ers have a leg up in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes next year. If Luck is really good, then Harbaugh looks like a genius.


The 49ers' selection of Missouri pass-rusher Aldon Smith at No. 7 came as more of a surprise, and as an indication San Francisco felt better about landing a quarterback later and/or through other means than the team would have felt selecting Gabbert this early.

It now seems almost certain the 49ers believe Smith will re-sign with the club and that they are comfortable doing this.

While Smith’s career (and lack of success) has been well-documented, Harbaugh is the kind of coach who would look at Smith and say, “I can fix this.”

Who knows? Maybe Harbaugh can tap into Smith’s well of talent and finally make him the quarterback everyone hoped he would be when he came to the team as a rookie.

Winning cures everything, and if Harbaugh can get Smith (and the 49ers by extension) to win, then everyone in San Francisco will be happy.

Looking ahead to the second round, the 49ers will want to keep the focus on the defense, or maybe take one of the young running backs. Frank Gore is not getting any younger.

Smith is one of the better pass rushers in this year’s draft and the 49ers choice to take him over J.J. Watt is another indication of how different the views in an NFL front office are from the bloggers and talking heads who do mock drafts.

There is a lot of draft left to go and the 49ers have a lot of holes to fill. A quarterback is coming, but he is not coming from the draft.


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