Welcome to draft day at 49ers headquarters at
11:07 a.m.: The 49ers unveil their new uniforms, which will look a lot like their old uniforms, at 12:20 p.m. over at the Convention Center. Haven’t figured out how to post pictures on the blog, but I’ll put them up for my friends to view on Facebook a little later.
11:18 a.m.: If you saw my mock draft, I have Tyson Jackson going No. 10 to the 49ers. But my confidence in that pick is dwindling. It’s not because the 49ers wouldn’t take him; it’s because I don’t expect him to be around when the 49ers choose. So, I will claim that I didn’t miss the 49ers’ pick; I just missed the Chiefs’ or Packers’ pick. How’s that for a cop-out?
Based on the information gathered over the course of the last couple months, I think the 49ers would take Michael Crabtree, Aaron Curry and the four offensive tackles. I would be very, very surprised – shocked, I tell ya – to see the 49ers turn in a card at No. 10 with the names B.J. Raji, Brian Orakpo or Aaron Maybin. Don’t have a good handle on whether the 49ers would take Jeremy Maclin or Rey Maualuga.
1:03 p.m.: Just returned from the new uni reveal. Patrick Willis walked on stage with Keena Turner in the new cherry-red uniform. He was followed by Josh Morgan and Jamie Williams, Dashon Goldson and Eric Davis, Joe Staley and Jesse Sapolu, and Moran Norris and Tom Rathman.
The look is pretty similar to the uniforms the 49ers wore throughout the ’80s. The stripe down the leg is not as thin. There are not stripes on the socks. The 49ers return to cherry red, jettisoning their burgundy red of the past decade.
Staley said the 49ers “won a lot of championships in the old cherry-red uniforms. And we’re going to win a lot of championships in the new cherry-red uniforms.”
1:05 p.m.: The Lions select MATTHEW STAFFORD, and now the real intrigue begins.
1:15 p.m.: Rams take OT JASON SMITH, and now the Chiefs hold the cards with a big pick here.
1:24 p.m.: The Chiefs select defensive end TYSON JACKSON, and there are some upset people in the 49ers’ draft room.
1:32 p.m.: At No. 4, the Seahawks select linebacker AARON CURRY
1:40 p.m.: The Jets trade up to No. 5 to take MARK SANCHEZ. Whoa!
1:52 p.m.: At No. 6, the Bengals select offensive tackle ANDRE SMITH of
1:57 p.m.: The Raiders have virtually the same needs as the 49ers. They take receiver DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY. And that’s a bit of a shocker. That also means Crabtree falls another notch closer to the 49ers.
2:07 p.m.: It’s getting close now. The Jaguars at No. 8 take . . . EUGENE MONROE. The Packers stand between the 49ers and their guy.
2:11 p.m.: If the Packers take B.J. RAJI – like it appears — I think the 49ers are going to take Michael Crabtree.
2:13 p.m.: The Packers take B.J. RAJI and the 49ers will definitely take MICHAEL CRABTREE.
2:50 p.m.: Frankly, I’m very, very surprised the 49ers were able to get Crabtree in this spot. Going in to hear from coach Mike Singletary right now.
3:15 p.m.: Singletary was quite pleased to talk about the selection of Crabtree. “This is great. This is outstanding.
“He said when the team was going through the scenarios this was one of the last ones they discussed because they did not believe he would be around at No. 10. When asked how Crabtree fits into the 49ers’ mix he said, “We’ll figure it out. We got a playmaker.”
When asked about reports that Crabtree is a diva and this and that, Singletary said he checked out fine on the team’s background check. “To the best of our knowledge, this is a really good pick for us.” Of course, Singletary did nothing to dispel the notion that Crabtree has some diva tendencies. He said Crabtree spoke to Singletary about his affinity for fashion. That’s something Crabtree has in common with Deion Sanders. Crabtree and Sanders are pretty close, and Singletary said he spoke with Sanders during his background check of Crabtree.
3:35 p.m.: Crabtree was just on a conference call. He’s in New York with about 16 family members and friends. He called the 49ers “a good place to be.” He claimed he doesn’t have an ill-will toward the Raiders, saying ”They picked who they wanted.” He said he wasn’t thinking too much about where he was going to go. He said he saw mocks that had him going anywhere from 1 to 20.
Crabtree calls himself a playmaker, but he also said he takes a lot of pride in his blocking ability. He said his knowledge of the game is one of his strengths, and scoffs at the notion that he does not have great speed. “I just run past guys who are trying to catch me,” he said.
Texas wanted him to play cornerback. Bobby Knight offered him a basketball scholarship. He said he didn’t go to Texas because he’s at his best when he’s scoring touchdowns. If he had decided to play cornerback, he said he’d “probably be the best cornerback.”
4:06 p.m.: My question to Crabtree: Are you a diva? “No, I’m nowhere near,” he answered. “You know how people like to put receivers in that category? There are a lot of different receivers out there, and I feel my personality is different than any receivers that play. Tell you the truth, everybody is different.”
4:41 p.m.: Wildly entertaining Texas Tech coach Mike Leach just gave an effusive recommendation of Michael Crabtree, saying, “People don’t realize the depth and commitment he has.” Leach described Crabtree as “shy and reserved.” In fact, he said, “There’s no diva in him. He’s too shy.”
There was a report this week that Cleveland coach Eric Mangini was rubbed the wrong way by Crabtree’s personality on a recent visit. Leach ripped into Mangini for not doing his homework on Crabtree. Leach said he never spoke to Mangini. “Let’s see how those non-divas in Cleveland do (this season).”
4:54 p.m.: The 49ers’ pick is six spots away. Rey Maualuga could be in play. Perhaps a running back. Perhaps Jarron Gilbert. Perhaps an outside linebacker. However, I don’t think it would be Everette Brown.
5:01 p.m.: Don’t know the particulars on why Brown has lasted through 39 picks, but I’ve heard rumblings that a lot of teams have placed third-round grades on him. I think that’s where the 49ers might have him, too. Of course, there has to be a team that has him in the second round.
5:20 p.m.: The 49ers are up next with the No. 43 overall pick. The Bills took Jairus Byrd (Oregon) with the 42nd pick. A lot of options with Shonn Green, Connor Barwin and Jarron Gilbert among the possibilities.
5:25 p.m: The 49ers traded their third-round pick (No. 43) and fourth-round pick (No. 111) to the Carolina Panthers for the Panthers’ first-round pick next year. The Panthers selected Everette Brown. That’s good stuff.
6:19 p.m.: GM Scot McCloughan just met with the media. The 49ers are done for the day. McCloughan said the 49ers had two players targeted with the No. 43 pick, but within the last five picks, two of those players were chosen. The final five picks before No. 43 were LB Rey Maualuga, OT Eben Britton, NT Ron Brace, CB Darius Butler and CB Jairus Byrd. From what I understand, the 49ers had Everette Brown rated as a third-round value.
McCloughan said the depth of this draft is not great, but first-round picks “are huge.” Next year’s draft will probably be a lot stronger. Heck, if the 49ers determine after this season that they need a QB, there might be some of those available a year from now.
McCloughan on Crabtree: “We got the best receiver in the draft, hands down.” McCloughan compared Crabtree to Anquan Boldin. When I asked if the 49ers were interested in trading for Boldin, McCloughan said there were internal discussions but the Cardinals were not going to deal Boldin within the division.
6:26 p.m.: Final word goes to Mike Leach. I asked Leach about Crabtree’s speed. He answered, “I happen to have coached the leading receiver in the NFL for the last two years (Wes Welker, 223 receptions in ’07 and ’08), and suffice it to say that Michael Crabtree’s faster than he is.”
That’s it for now. I have a lot of work for the newspaper to do. I’ll be checking back in later this evening. Thanks for tuning in.
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