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Morning Tailgate: The Next Justin Smith


Is J.J. Watt the next Justin Smith?

The comparison is close to being accurate, according to 49ers fullback Bruce Miller.

"I've seen him quite a bit," the third-year player said on Tuesday. "He's an elite player."

Like Smith, Watt has been productive from the start of his NFL career.

Watt, a 6-foot-5, 289-pound defensive end, posted 117 tackles, 26.5 sacks and 20 pass breakups in his first two seasons with the Houston Texans.

In comparison, Smith, the 6-foot-4, 284-pound defensive tackle, recorded 112 tackles, 17 sacks and five pass breakups in his first two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Miller willingly accepts the challenge of having to block Watt and the rest of Houston's defensive front seven this Sunday night when the Texans come to Candlestick Park for a non-conference matchup.

But the 49ers fullback wasn't willing to say Watt was better than his teammate.

"You guys know what I think about Justin Smith, he's the best," Miller said.

More 49ers headlines can be found in today's Morning Tailgate presented by State Farm.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checked in with 49ers safety Donte Whitner to hear reaction on his unnecessary roughness fine.

Matt Maiocco of reviewed the 49ers defensive unit through four games.

Bill Williamson of wondered if Jon Baldwin will rise up the 49ers depth chart.

Scott Kegley of took fans on a Vine tour of Levi's ® Stadium.




It's official...The W is being removed from my last name from Whitner to Hitner...GM — TWHITNER (@DonteWhitner) October 2, 2013

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