San Francisco 49ers: How Valuable Are Their Linebackers?

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November 13, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) is congratulated by defensive end Justin Smith (top, third from right) and inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) after Willis sacked New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (bottom) during the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Giants 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers win a lot of games because of their defense, and it is led by some incredible linebackers.

Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks helped lead the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII last season. All four lit up the stat sheet, as Smith and Brooks combined for 26 sacks and Willis and Bowman combined for 268 tackles.

There’s no doubt that San Francisco’s linebackers have put up eye-popping numbers so far, and there’s no doubt that the young group will continue to pile up numerous accolades. But how valuable is the group?

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