- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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2011 Rookie Comparison
Again, very impressive.
Facebook friend Paul came up with the idea for this one. Hank Gargiulo of ESPN Stats & Information helped with the numbers.
Miller is likely the favorite for defensive rookie of the year. Smith should be in the conversation as well. Both were first-round draft choices. The Broncos selected Miller second overall. The 49ers chose Smith with the seventh pick.
Smith plays in passing situations. He sacks opposing quarterbacks more frequently than Miller on a per-pass basis, but he also has an advantage based on when he plays. Miller, as an every-down player, must shift from playing the run to rushing the passer when opponents throw on early downs.
Both players are making significant impacts for their teams. I would expect Smith to become a 49ers starter next season.