He stands at a towering 6’4″ and a heavy 260 pounds, but he moves lightly like a tight end. He has endless length, with his thick boa constrictor-like arms checking in at nearly 36 inches, and an impressive get-up off the line of scrimmage regardless of his stance; a tilted two-point stance or a coiled three-point stance — it simply doesn’t matter. He’s a very fluid athlete, moving through interior gaps on the famous T-E (tackle-end) stunt that he and the other San Francisco Smith — Justin — have popularized. All these traits are exactly what you look for in a pass rusher, especially an outside linebacker in the multiple 3-4 defense, but they’re not even the best in Aldon Smith’s arsenal.
His best traits are those that aren’t always noticeable because they’re diminished by the rest of his impressive physical abilities. They are the ones that permit him to bend and dip underneath and around the narrowest of edges and jolt the mightiest of blockers; they are his rubber band-like flexibility and overpowering hands.
A pass rusher must have both of those traits because at the end of the day, there are only two directions that a pass rusher can take to get to his prey: through the blocker, or around him. Smith has taken both paths while utilizing both traits, administering a record total of 29 sacks in his first 26 career games.
And the best has yet to come.