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49ers Justin Smith Third in Midseason MVP Voting

Over at Yahoo Sports' Shutdown Corner, they were wondering just who would win MVP voting in the NFL if it was voted on today? Lo and behold, they chose Aaron Rodgers. But that's not the interesting part. The interesting part is that San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith is third in the voting, which says a lot both about Justin as well as the 49ers as a whole.

Smith joins some elite company on this short list of possible MVP candidates, along with the Lions' Calvin Johnson, the Bills' Fred Jackson, the Ravens' Haloti Ngata, the Eagles' LeSean McCoy, the Jets' Darrelle Revis, and of course Aaron Rodgers. That's impressive enough as is. But here's what Shutdown Corner had to say about him:


If there's a unit out there as dominant as the Packers offense, it's the 49ers defense, and Smith is as much of a force as anybody. A defensive end in a 3-4 scheme doesn't have any business getting as much pressure on the quarterback as Smith does. He just takes on double-teams, eats up blockers, and beats offensive linemen all day long.    


Smith's 29 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles only account for a part of his importance to this team, who is as solid and talented a DT that you'll find in the league, making the pro-bowl the last two straight seasons. Being chosen for mid-season MVP over guys like Frank Gore, who is having an incredible season thus far, shows you how vital he is to the defense, as well as the 49ers second best record in the NFL. 

For more on the 49ers, head over to Niners Nation to get your fix.