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Keep your eye out for Garrison Smith

The defensive linemen made enough of a splash in Denver that he should be on your radar

It seems that after the second preseason game, most of the spotlight shone down on San Francisco 49ers LB Marcus Rush and his three sack performance. What cannot be overlooked, however, is the performance of his fellow defensive player, 6’3 and 300 lbs. Garrison Smith. (I have to admit, after seeing his “thoughtful” Georgia football picture I was even more compelled to do a story on the man.)

Smith, who has two years of NFL experience on various practice squads, finished the game in Denver with an impressive four tackles, one assist, five combined tackles, one sack for nine yards, two tackles for loss and one quarterback hit. He played 39 snaps which was 41% of the defensive plays.

In the Niners Nation roster breakdown of Smith, it was noted that his odds of making the roster was highly dependent on the health of Ian Williams. Now that it is certain Williams will not be playing this season, there is a higher possibility that Smith could remain on the roster. He is now firmly “on the bubble.”

After Smith’s stand out performance in Denver defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil spoke about the lineman:

He’s taking advantage of his opportunity. He made a huge third and one play a couple of weeks ago against the Texans and then he had some really nice plays this past week. He was all over the field. When you are talking about those guys, are they on the roster or are they not on the roster? That’s what you’re looking for, guys that are going to show up when they are given the opportunity, and he’s done that.

Chip Kelly on Smith:

Yeah. I thought Garrison played an outstanding game. I think between him and Marcus, if you picked two standouts, and I thought there was a lot of other standouts, but those two really from a production standpoint kind of jumped off when you watch the tape, when you got a chance, you’re flying home last night, just watching the tape. The two of those guys were around the football a lot and causing a lot of disruption in Denver’s offense. So, both those guys had really, really good games in Week 2.

Smith has two more games in which to attempt to maintain the positive momentum he has going into the regular season. He is the backup NT behind Mike Purcell and still retains another season of practice squad eligibility.