Whenever two people enter a field having very similar job descriptions, and similar skill sets, those people are going to be compared to one another. Going into the Rams 2011 draft, there was a lot of buzz surrounding Robert Quinn and Aldon Smith. Teams in need of a pass rush, whether they ran a 3-4 or a 4-3, were considering both of these players. In fact, this St. Louis SB Nation Mock Draft had the Rams taking Aldon Smith. Conversely, a BR Mock Draft, had the 49ers selecting Robert Quinn in the first round. The two players possess a very similar skill set. It turned out that Aldon Smith would be selected with pick 7 by the San Francisco 49ers. Robert Quinn would have to wait until pick 14 to hear his name called at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
WalterFootball.com's NFL Draft's Scouting Report On Each:
Elite athlete Speed and short area quickness Explodes off edge Gets off blocks Pass rush skills Long arms Forces fumbles Scheme versatile Plenty of upside
Run defense needs improvement Inconsistent snap reaction Lacked production against top competition Only two years of college football Suspended for 2010 season Medical - benign tumor removed in high school
Long arms Athletic and quick with closing speed Explodes off edge Natural pass rusher Active motor Capable run defender Tough; plays through injury Potential 3-4 rush linebacker
Not powerful - lacking strength Misses tackles on occasion Lacks experience Has to mix up his pass rush moves Needs to add weight to play end in a 4-3 Suffered leg fracture last year
As you can see, the two scouting reports are nearly identical. Speed, quickness, long arms, scheme versatility, and upside are strengths Quinn and Smith have in common. The questions concerning each player shared some similarities as well. Both had a medical history that were worrisome, and they lacked experience against top level talent. Also, Quinn and Smith were considered liabilities against the run.
Throughout each of their short careers, Quinn and Smith have, thus far, lived up to the hype. Let's take a look at their career production...
Over the course of Robert Quinn's career he has amassed 41 tackles, 12 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 4 pass deflections, and one blocked kick.
Aldon Smith has tallied 66 tackles, 21.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 4 pass deflections, and 0 blocked kicks.
Although Aldon Smith started his career off with a bang last season, Quinn barely played in 2011 and is quickly making up for lost time. Of those 21.5 sacks for Smith, 7.5 have come this season. While 7 of Robert Quinn's 12 sacks have come during his 2012 campaign.
Overall, each team has to be thanking the previous coaching staffs for selecting these beasts. Robert Quinn and Aldon Smith both project to be the top pass rushers on their respective teams for years to come. It should be fun to watch and compare these two for the duration of their careers.