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2011 NFL Draft Grades: San Francisco 49ers Select Aldon Smith with No. 7 Pick

Who: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

Where: No. 7 Overall

Grade: C+

Why He Fits Here: Every pick up to this point was pretty close to a home run. But when Arizona took Patrick Peterson at No. 5, it left San Francisco in a difficult position here.

The Alex Smith era is all but done in San Francisco, which led me to believe that the 49ers might look at taking Blaine Gabbert with this pick. But instead, they went defense, and took a shot on Gabbert's college teammates, Missouri DE, Aldon Smith.

I can see why the 49ers went defense, but in my opinion, Smith wasn't even the best player available at his position. With guys like J.J. Watt, Nick Fairley and Robert Quinn still on the board, it really did surprise me that Jim Harbaugh and co. went with Smith.

I think that Smith has potential to be good, but right now, his frame is too small to be a dominant force at defensive end, and he doesn't have the experience and pass coverage skills to play the outside linebacker position. So, we shall see what type of role San Francisco expects Smith to fill in the near future.

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