After finishing the season only half a sack shy of Jevon Kearse’s 1999 rookie record of 14.5, San Francisco 49ers Aldon Smith was named the 2011 PFW/PFWA defensive player of the year, according to the Bay Area Sports Guy.
Smith accrued 37 tackles and 2 forced fumbles along the way as well, edging Broncos rookie Von Miller for this year’s DROY award. He also broke the franchise record for sacks by a rookie as well.
Although these aren’t the AP awards, the more prestigious of the two, the two entities have only differed in opinion four times since the late 1960’s, with the latest coming in 2004 with the AP picking Dunta Robinson from the Texans and PFW/PFWA selecting Jonathan Vilma from the Saints.
Other 49ers to have won this award include Patrick Willis (2007), Dana Stubblefield (1993), and Bruce Taylor (1970), the opposite of lightweights to say the least.
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