Aldon Smith, with 17.5 sacks through 12 games, is rapidly approaching Michael Strahan's NFL record of 22.5 sacks in a single season.
As Smith's quest for NFL history continues, more attention will be drawn to his counterpart on the opposing offensive line. This week against the Miami Dolphins, that counterpart is rookie tackle Jonathan Martin.
Martin is replacing Jake Long on the Dolphins line, who was placed on injured reserve this past week. He was drafted by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft as the fifth tackle selected. Coming out of Stanford University, Martin's ability is very well-known to 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, writes Matt Maiocco of Comcast Sports Net Bay Area.
"He was a good player for us at Stanford," Harbaugh said. "He's been doing a good job his entire rookie year, and to make the switch from right tackle to left tackle, he's adapted and doing a good job. With losing their left tackle, he'll be called on this week."
Martin is 50-pounds heavier than Smith, but he'll need far more than weight to handle the NFL's sack leader--he'll need strength. Martin's draft stock fell following the 2012 combine after he was only able to bench press 225-pounds 20 times.