Aldon Smith can quickly improve the Jacksonville Jaguars’ pass-rush woes.
Early in the 2010s, defensive Aldon Smith looked unstoppable and was one of the most dominant pass rushers in the NFL. A first-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers in 2011, the Missouri product logged 110 tackles (42 for a loss), an astonishing 42.0 sacks, six forced fumbles, and five passes defensed.
Then, Smith’s off-field issues got out of control. He was given a nine-game suspension in 2014 for violations of the league’s personal-conduct policy and substance-abuse policy and was later released by the ‘Niners’ in 2015 after being arrested on DUI, vandalism, and hit-and-run charges. The league suspended him once again and missed the following four seasons.
Smith signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys last offseason and was later reinsteited. He made the most out of his opportunity and started all 16 games last season, registering 48 total tackles (five for a loss), five sacks, and two pass deflections. Although he may not be as dominant as he was early in his career, he showed in 2020 he can still play at a high level.
Also, another year on the field after not playing in more than four years should help Smith shake off the rust. Defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson should get better in his sophomore year and Josh Allen should be fully healthy. However, Smith’s presence would surely give the Jaguars’ defensive line a boost.
Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke held the same position for the 49ers when they took Smith in the draft. He knows his strength and weakness and his familiarity could play a role in bringing in the 2012 First-Team All-Pro.