I don´t want to sound like a total homer, but I think if Justin Smith keeps playing like he did this game and the entire last season, he may have a realistic shot at being called the best 3-4 DE in the entire NFL.
I mean, the last few years the best 3-4 DE in the league would arguably be Richard Seymour, because he was a dangerous pass rusher as well as an able run stopper in New Englands 3-4 defense and he did have his share of big plays, which is kinda unsual for a 3-4 defensive lineman.
But now that Seymour is in Oakland (which is predominantly 4-3 team), are there any other 3-4 DEs in the league who can compare to Justin Smith? I don´t know, all the other successful 3-4 teams in the league like Pittsburgh or Dallas have solid, but unspectacular 3-4 Ends, who are good run stoppers and free up their LBs well, but do no seem to generate much pass rush by themselves.
That would make Justin Smith kinda unique right now in the NFL among 3-4 Ends, which would put him into elite territory.
I guess it´s just me being delusional after the win, but having the best 3-4 DE in the NFL sure sounds great to me
Breaking:Round 7, Pick 11: 49ers select Miami DB Adrian Colbert