I really don't have a ton to say in this post. 49ers fans already knew Justin Smith was awesome, but yesterday the rest of the world had a chance to take notice. The Associated Press announced their 2011 NFL All-Pro teams and Justin Smith was named first team All Pro at defensive tackle. Although he spends most of his time at defense end, Smith is often referred to as a defensive tackle since a lot of these teams are 4-3 based. We saw it with the Pro Bowl rosters and so it was fitting he was named a first team All-Pro at that position.
However, Justin Smith proved himself to be a true badass when he was ALSO named to the All-Pro second team at defensive end. He received most of his votes at defensive tackle, but he received enough votes at defensive end to finish third in voting. He became the first player ever to be named first and second team All-Pro at two different positions in the same phase of the game. The only other player to come close to that was Deion Sanders, who was named first team as a kick returner and second team as a cornerback in 1992.
Normally I try and be a little more eloquent with titles, but I really don't see what else can adequately describe Justin Smith. We've easily focused in on the awesomeness of Patrick Willis, but in reality, the 49ers have two of the best defensive players in the NFL lining up in their front seven. We can get into what NaVorro Bowman and Ray McDonald and Aldon Smith and others do, but for now, let's just enjoy what Justin Smith brings to the table.
We try and provide a bit of objective analysis of the team and I try not to get too far to one side or the other. However, this is one time where I have no problem being a gushing fan. It is absolutely ridiculous how good Justin Smith really is. I would actually argue he is still an underrated player in the NFL. He is getting recognition when it comes to the Pro Bowl and All Pro teams, and yet somehow I still think he is underrated. There are arguments around the league for Defensive Player of the Year, but that won't make me any less disappointed if the man they call Cowboy doesn't win the award.
So, yes, Justin Smith is entirely a bad ass and I really won't accept arguments otherwise.