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49ers pleased with Aldon Smith's progress at LB

Updated: October 5, 2012, 8:00 PM ET
Associated Press

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco 49ers figured they were in for a long term project when they selected Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith with the No. 6 pick in the 2011 draft.

They're happy to have been proven wrong.

At the time of the draft the team viewed Smith as an outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's 3-4 scheme, despite the fact the 20-year-old played solely with his hand in the dirt in his two college seasons.

"He ...

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