49ers LB Patrick Willis 52 photo from articles.sfgate.com

Hamm's 49ers Pigskin Mid Year Awards

We’ve reached the mid way point of the season so it’s time to hand out the first annual Hamm’s 49ers Pigskin Mid Year Awards .  The 49ers stand at 7-1, have won all types of games, from the blowout vs Tampa Bay to the comebacks in Philadelphia and Detroit.  Here are the players most responsible and why, time to hand out my 49er mid season awards.

Rookie of the Year:
Aldon Smith: other candidates Kendall Hunter, Chris Culliver- 6 sacks in part time duty as Smith learns the outside linebacker position is great.  But what Smith brings is not just sack numbers, he’s the big time pass rush threat this team has needed for years.  Which makes him my obvious choice for Rookie of the Year at the mid way point.

Offensive Player of the Year:
Frank Gore other candidates Alex Smith- These next 2 awards were extremely hard to choose.  On the one hand Gore has nearly carried this team offensively.  On the other Smith has had a career year and has come up big when asked to while managing the game perfectly in coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense.  In the end I couldn’t ignore Gore and his 5 consecutive 100 yard games. 

Defensive Player of the Year:
Patrick Willis other candidates Justin Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Navarro Bowman, Carlos Rogers- Given the way the 49ers Defense has played this year any of these candidates are deserving of the award.  Bowman has come in and shocked everyone becoming a Willis-like tackling machine.  Rogers has come in and proved he can in fact be a #1 CB, playing so well he and the team have discussed a contract extension already.  Brooks is having a career year finally a full time starter at OLB he is taking full advantage of his opportunity.  And what can you say about Justin Smith.  Smith has been arguably the best 3-4 defensive lineman in football this season and his game sealing strip of Jeremy Maclin in Philadelphia was huge.  In the end it came down to Smith and Willis and I went with Patrick because he is the engine that drives this entire defense, he is to the 49ers what Ray Lewis is to the Ravens. 

Free Agent Pickup of the Year:
Carlos Rogers other candidates Jonathan Goodwin, Donte Whitner, Braylon Edwards,David Akers- While it looks like the team may have struck gold with all their FA pickups one stands alone.  While Goodwin and Whitner have played solid football and Akers has been one of the best kickers in the NFL, Carlos Rogers runs away with this award.  His 3 INTs and defensive TD and Rogers is having the best year of his career thus far.  At 1 year $4 million he was a heck of a bargain also. 

Most Improved Player:
Alex Smith- Remember how mad you were when you realized Alex Smith was coming back as the 49ers starting QB? 


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Tags: 49ers 2011 49ers Front 7 Aldon Smith Alex Smith Anthony Dixon Braylon Edwards Chilo Rachal Chris Culliver Dashon Goldson David Akers Donte Whitner Frank Gore Hamm's 49ers Pigskin Mid Year Awards Jonathan Goodwin Kendall Hunter Matt's 49ers Mid Season Awards Ray McDonald Shawntae Spencer

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