Key offensive comparisons on draft day

The perfect first day of the draft – assuming they keep their picks at Nos. 13 and 17 – would consist of help for the offensive line and the secondary.


Yesterday, we gave a couple either/or situations the 49ers could face on the defensive side of the ball. In this entry, we shift to offense.

G Mike Iupati (Idaho) vs. C/G Maurkice Pouncey (Florida)


If the 49ers don’t get a crack at the top three or four tackles at No. 13, and they take a defensive player or trade that pick, this could be the discussion right here.


Iupati or Pouncey?


Both are interior offensive linemen. The 49ers need immediate help at right tackle. The club could get somebody with their selection at No. 49. Or they could move back from 13 to – oh let’s just say – No. 27 and get a tackle there. Or they could move up from 49 to secure one of the tackles in the second tier.


While the 49ers must come away with a starter at right tackle, it’s not as if they can’t use help at the other positions on the offensive line, too.


Iupati is a guard. Perhaps, he could transition to right tackle. But that would not be a Year 1 development. That would be far down the road. Pouncey, likewise, would start out at guard. He would transition in 2011 or 2012 to center to take the place of Eric Heitmann.


The more I think of this scenario, the more I think the 49ers could easily select Pouncey. (And my final-final mock draft for tomorrow’s newspaper is likely to reflect that.)


RB C.J. Spiller (Clemson) vs. WR Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State) vs. QB Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame)


The 49ers do not need to take a running back, wide receiver or quarterback in the first round as a way of giving immediate help to a team that should be set up to win the NFC West.


But can the 49ers pass up the value that they’d receive with Spiller, Bryant or Clausen?


Spiller is not an every-down back. The feeling is that Jahvid Best has a better chance of being an every-down guy than Spiller. But Spiller is explosive, and he’d give any offense a lot of options. But there’s no need for the 49ers to add a “third-down back.” Frank Gore is terrific on third downs with his ability to run, catch and perform duties in blitz pickup. Gore is going to be around for at least a couple more years. Glen Coffee was a third-round pick last year who has added more than 10 pounds to become more of a forceful power runner. The 49ers like what they have with Coffee.


Bryant is considered a top-five talent who has seen his stock plummet, as he’s managed to do all the wrong things leading up to this draft. Coincidentally, or not, Bryant is represented by agent Eugene Parker, who did nothing but sit back while his client last year, Michael Crabtree, was the subject of negative discussion. Crabtree ended up tumbling to the 49ers at No. 10. The 49ers believe they wouldn’t have to go through the same contract situation if they were to take Bryant, because Parker should’ve learned his lesson from Crabtree’s 71-day stalemate that seemingly served no purpose.


And then there’s Clausen. The 49ers are not going to trade up for him. And I’m not sure they’d take him at No. 13. But at No. 17 there would be serious discussion about adding him to the mix. Alex Smith is the 49ers’ quarterback this season. The 49ers would like to think Smith will have a good season, re-sign and be the quarterback well into the future. But if he falls on his face this season, the team would probably have to start from scratch in 2011.


* * *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *