Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Playing on a defense alongside such stars as Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks often gets overlooked.
I guarantee you the Baltimore Ravens won't overlook Brooks, though.
Brooks is incredibly intelligent, as he proved when he forced the Atlanta Falcons into a fourth down late in the NFC Championship game. He immediately diagnosed what the Falcons were attempting to do, and instead of rushing up the field to try and sack Matt Ryan, he rolled to his left and followed Ryan's eyes to deflect his pass attempt.
In fact, there isn't an element Brooks isn't proficient in when talking about 3-4 outside linebackers. He isn't the strongest or fastest guy on the field, but he does everything well.
According to PFF (subscription required), Brooks ranked No. 11 in pass-rush productivity, No. 6 in run stop percentage, No. 5 in tackling efficiency and No. 5 in coverage compared to all the 3-4 outside linebackers in the NFL in 2012.
Aldon Smith will continue getting plenty of attention on his side of the field, along with Justin Smith, and Brooks will have his opportunities to make huge plays for the 49ers defense.