(FootballStL) -- Former Mizzou standout and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is on pace to earn himself Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after collecting 7.5 sacks in part-time duty.
Smith drew interest from St. Louis during the 2011 NFL Draft, but the 49ers selected him seventh overall and before the Rams had their first round pick.
“I think the biggest expectation we had of Aldon was to come in and give us everything he had and he has done that,” 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said. “He has been a student of the game. He has learned from fellow (Missouri) Tiger Justin Smith on how to be a pro, just progressing really nicely.”
Smith, who is primarily used on third down and passing situations, is eager to become a starter for the 49ers (9-2) who can clinch a playoff spot this weekend.
“I think it’s going to come with time,” Smith said. “Just keep getting better every game and getting better every week. Me stepping into an every down role is going to happen in due time.”
The 49ers and Rams will play in San Francisco at 3:15 p.m. on Sunday.
by Scott Bierman, FootballStL
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