The former Raider and Hall of Fame coach came out with his “highest-rated rookie” list. Aldon Smith, chosen seventh overall by the Niners, was left off the list. Smith and Nick Fairley, picked 13th, were the only defensive players drafted among the top 15 picks not selected by Madden in the top 10.
Arizona’s Patrick Peterson was ranked first.
What made Madden leave off Smith? No reason was given but one does stand out – Smith is a project. Which is code for saying “who the heck knows?”