Justin Smith is a man.
But he is not just any man: He can destroy offensive lines like no other player in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers getting the limelight and prime-time games after last season is great for them, but it also allows NFL fans to see how good Justin Smith is.
Smith will go up against plenty of weak offensive lines during the season and will show up unlike any other defensive player in the league. I'm confident that he will be able to bulldoze his way through the mediocre lines of the Minnesota Vikings, St Louis Rams, Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals—just to name a few.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints were the platform that Justin Smith used to show his dominance the most last year. The best defensive play of the year came when Smith bull rushed Jermon Bushrod all the way into the face of Drew Brees and brought down both, one with each hand.
Ben Roethlisberger and the entire Pittsburgh Steelers team too felt the brute force and relentless energy that Justin Smith brings to the game. Aldon Smith was sensational too, but Justin Smith was the man who made Aldon so effective on the inside stunts—so much so that some declared Aldon Rookie of the Year on the spot.
Eli Manning and the Super Bowl champion New York Giants also struggled to cope with Justin Smith, he ended their game in the regular season by batting down a dart thrown by Manning in the last seconds of the game.
The Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft and some considered him a bust only a few years later. Fast forward ten years later, and he is being used properly as a 3-4 defensive end.
He is just as dominant a defensive lineman as Haloti Ngata. Period.
Justin Smith can be a great pass-rusher and he is also as good at stopping the run as any nose guard in the NFL but that isn't what makes him special. He is a leader. He makes everyone around him better, and that is why the San Francisco 49ers have the best defense in the entire NFL.
They will all be running away from Justin Smith come September and the start of the 2012 NFL season.