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Former Mizzou LB Aldon Smith Becoming Potent Force For San Francisco 49ers Defense

It's clear the 49ers have a elite weapon on their hand -- the very reason you invest a top 7 pick on a linebacker in the first place.

Aldon Smith has 11 tackles in six games. Typically those of the numbers of a player that you skip over, assuming he's not making much of an impact at all. Instead, Smith has turned into the exact sort of pass rushing weapon off of the edge that the San Francisco 49ers hoped he would be when they selected the Missouri linebacker at No. 7 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft.

In six games, Smith has 5.5 sacks and had a career day today (well, he's only six games into his young career, so that's an overstatement, I realize) against the Detroit Lions in the Niners surprise road win. Smith had four tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble in a performance that certainly changed the tide of the game. More than anything, today's performance showed that Smith is getting more comfortable on the field and/or the 49ers are learning how to properly deploy him. Either way, it's clear the 49ers have a elite weapon on their hand -- the very reason you invest a top 7 pick on a linebacker in the first place.

Mizzou fans have to be pleased to see he's making the jump before their eyes. The questions lingered for some time over Smith with his doubters signalling that his draft stock was mostly centered on his potential. Apparently the scouts knew what they were talking about.