49ers rookie Aldon Smith a quick learner

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- New coach Jim Harbaugh gave Aldon Smith a test the first time he showed up at 49ers headquarters.

Maybe about how the former Missouri defensive end would transition to outside linebacker? Or how well his broken right leg had healed? Nope.

Instead of working Smith out before the draft, Harbaugh quizzed him on the history of the NFL. Smith failed miserably. The second time around, he had a near-perfect score.

Smith has proven to be a quick study.

After racking up 612 sacks during San Francisco's 6-1 start, the No. 7 overall pick earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors for October. And he has distinguished himself as one of the contenders for Defensive Rookie of the Year as the 49ers head to Washington (3-4) on Sunday.