Aldon Smith

49ers' Nick Bosa named NFL Rookie of the Year by writers association

49ers' Nick Bosa named NFL Rookie of the Year by writers association

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa was recognized as the NFL Rookie of the Year, the Pro Football Writers of America announced on Tuesday morning.

Bosa was not just NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He won that, too. But the writers selected him as the best rookie in the league, period.

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs was named as the PFWA's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Linebacker Dre Greenlaw, who moved into the starting lineup after Kwon Alexander's injury, was named to the first-team all-rookie defense. He joined Devin Bush (Pittsburgh) and Devin White (Tampa Bay) as the linebackers.

Greenlaw made the 49ers' defensive play of the year when he stopped Seattle's Jacob Hollister just inches short of the goal line in Week 17 to preserve the win and enable the 49ers to win the NFC West and clinch homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

Bosa won the award based on his regular-season production, and he carried it over into the playoffs with two sacks against the Minnesota Vikings in a 27-10 victory on Saturday in the divisional round of the playoffs.

“It’s kind of expected now,” 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said of Bosa. “At first, it was kind of shocking about how quickly he adapted to the NFL and was able to make a lot of talented tackles look silly, myself included.

“But, now, it’s just what he is, and it’s expected. It’s who he’s been his whole life. I don’t think it’s turned up for a playoff game, it’s just what he does. He goes out there and dominates, so I expect him to do the same next week.”

The 49ers will play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium.

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Bosa is the first defensive player to win the PFWA award since an overall rookie of the year was re-implemented in 2013. He is the fifth 49ers player to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, joining cornerback Bruce Taylor (1970), defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield (1993), linebacker Patrick Willis (2007) and edge rusher Aldon Smith (2011).

Bosa’s brother, Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers, won the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016.

Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, started 14 of the 16 games in which he appeared this season. He registered 47 tackles and nine sacks with an interception, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

He left an imprint on games even when he was not compiling statistics. Bosa ranked sixth in the NFL among edge defenders with a 49ers-best 80 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Ex-49ers, Raiders star Aldon Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI in Kansas

Ex-49ers, Raiders star Aldon Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI in Kansas

Aldon Smith is in the news for the wrong reasons once again. 

The former 49ers and Raiders edge rusher was arrested Tuesday morning in Mission, Kansas. Police initially stopped Smith for a traffic violation, the Kansas City Star's Robert Cronkleton reported Tuesday

Cronkleton reported that Smith was then arrested around midnight on suspicion of DUI. He was issued citations at the Mission police station and released to a friend, said Capt. Kevin Self, a spokesman for the Mission Police Department. 

This is the latest in a long line of off-field issues for Smith. He was last arrested in August of 2018 for allegedly violating conditions of an electronic monitoring program. When he showed up to the San Francisco County Sheriff’s department last summer, he had a .40 blood alcohol level, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Smith was selected by the 49ers with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He set a record by recording 33.5 sacks in his first two seasons before running into trouble. He was released by the 49ers in August of 2015 after his fifth issue with the law. 

The Raiders then signed Smith just before the start of the 2015 season. He played in nine games for the Silver and Black that season before being suspended again for at least one season. Smith applied for reinstatement in 2016, but that decision was pushed back to the offseason and he was never granted the ability to re-join the NFL. 

[RELATED: Clelin Ferrell wants to be what Aldon Smith should've been]

Now 29 years old, Smith officially became a free agent in March of 2018 when the Raiders released him after two seasons away from the NFL. At the time, the San Francisco police said they were searching for Smith in connection with a domestic violence charge. Smith turned himself in before posting bail.

Over four seasons and 59 games played in the NFL, Smith recorded 47.5 sacks.

Clemson's Clelin Ferrell wants to be what Aldon Smith should've been in NFL

Clemson's Clelin Ferrell wants to be what Aldon Smith should've been in NFL

SAN JOSE -- Clelin Ferrell wasn't randomly given No. 99 at Clemson. It was chosen, then proudly worn in homage to his favorite pass rusher of all time.

It's a man the Bay Area knows well.

That’s right: Aldon Smith.

The University of Missouri product had an unreal start to his NFL career, with 42 sacks in his first three seasons with the 49ers. Then it went supernova, destroyed by off-the-field issues, suspensions and run-ins with the law. Smith hasn’t played NFL football since an abbreviated 2015 campaign with the Raiders, battling well-documented issues with substances of abuse.

Ferrell knows that Smith has his demons. Ferrell also knows that few pass rushers were better than Smith at his best.

“I know his career didn’t pan out the way a lot of people wanted, but (he’s) the reason I wear No. 99,” Ferrell said Saturday during College Football National Championship media day at SAP Center. “I feel like I could be … and I don't know if anything’s over with [Smith's career] -- that’s still in the works -- but I feel like I can be what he should've been and where he should be in his career right now.

“I know he has had some setbacks, and I always pray that he'll return to the level he was. I always looked up to him and his game."

Ferrell has the talent to play at an Smith-like level. He has ideal size at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds. He also has ideal speed, athleticism and length, but he isn’t just a workout warrior. He has steadily produced for Clemson, with 27 sacks over three seasons heading into Monday’s national championship game against Alabama at Levi’s Stadium, where Smith briefly played. Ferrell has 21 sacks in the last two years, far more than Smith had in two years as a collegian.

Ferrell is a better run defender than many think, something he’d like you to know before stereotyping him as a situational pass rusher.

Ferrell ranks high among college football’s edge rushers -- he won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s best defensive end -- and he should be a top-10 pick if he declares for the 2019 NFL draft. He could be a Raiders target as high as No. 4, or if the Silver and Black trade back a smidge to acquire more picks.

He would fill a pressing need rushing off the edge and setting it in the run game -- two traits lacking in the 2018 Raiders defensive front.

“He has a great future,” Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. “He’s long, athletic and has great speed. He has instincts and some real natural talent, but also has character and work ethic and the fortitude to out-compete and fight and be a great leader. He has great humility to him. All those things translate to the next level and will help him transition to the NFL. He’ll be very prepared for what’s in front of him.”

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Ferrell hasn’t formally decided whether to turn pro, but he’s expected to at some point after Monday’s game. The redshirt junior could’ve done so last year, but he returned to school, then dominated the 2018 season, with 11.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. He was named a first-team All-American for the second consecutive year, and he has accomplished almost everything at the amateur level.

He still didn’t want to tip his hand just yet, and swears he can tune out all the draft talk while focusing on what could be his last game at Clemson.

“I was blessed to be in a position (last year) where my name was involved in draft talk, but I can't control all of that,” Ferrell said. “It’s such a long process from now to making a decision and through the draft. I’m not really thinking about it, because so much can happen between then and now. I’ll make a decision at the end of the season.

"I just focus on what’s in front of me, and that’s the national championship game. That’s why I came to Clemson, to win a title. I owe that to the team and the program to remain 100 percent focused on that.”