A couple days after the NFL draft, here are some thoughts on 49ers-related topics . . .
–The receiver spot is going to be interesting. The team has some good depth. Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan and Dominique Zeigler play split end; Isaac Bruce, Brandon Jones, Jason Hill and Arnaz Battle are at flanker.
–In the end, the 49ers got a one-cut power back that they really liked, Glen Coffee, in the third round. And they still got their home-run hitter, change-of-pace back in Purdue speedster Kory Sheets in free agency.
–This makes things extremely difficult on Thomas Clayton, who may never get a regular-season carry for the 49ers. He is now in an extreme uphill battle to win a roster spot behind Gore, Coffee and Michael Robinson . . . not to mention Sheets. Coffee is seen as the No. 2 back. Robinson’s role appears to be as a specialty back and special-teams ace. The 49ers really strengthened this position, and may have set themselves up for a future when Gore is no longer around.
–The 49ers could have satisfied some critics by just taking an offensive tackle and an outside linebacker. Heck, any tackle or linebacker would’ve done to get people of their backs. But, clearly, the team thought they could improve their roster with picks at other positions.
–The team had four offensive tackles eyeballed in the first round. After that, there were no “franchise” tackles available and the 49ers probably thought no lineman was going to be an immediate upgrade over what they already have with their sixth, seventh and eighth offensive linemen (Adam Snyder, Tony Wragge and Cody Wallace).
–And, to answer a couple other questions . . . Levi Jones? No. Leroy Hill? No. The 49ers already signed their starting right tackle, Marvel Smith. Jones, like Smith, is a veteran who has battled injuries. Both are represented by the same agent, too. Hill would be a mike linebacker in the 49ers’ scheme. Hill might want to go someplace where he can start.
–This draft was a huge vote of confidence for Manny Lawson. It looks as if he is going to get his chance to rush the quarterback this season.
–If Lawson is not successful as a pass rusher, what the 49ers need is not an outside linebacker but a pass-rushing defensive end. In their nickel defense, the 49ers play a four-man line so all they need is a one-dimensional smaller, quicker defensive end who gets after the quarterback.
–I really know nothing about Everette Brown, other than an impressive highlight reel on YouTube. The 49ers, and every other NFL team, do a lot more research on these prospects than scanning the internet for video. Brown was not chosen in the first round, and the 49ers passed on taking him in the second round. That probably means they assigned him, at best, a third-round grade. So, really, in the 49ers’ draft room, it was determined he would not have been a good fit for this team. Now, let’s move on.
–The 49ers used a draft pick on a pass-rushing outside linebacker, all right. They used a fourth-round pick (2007) on Jay Moore, who has never played a down in the regular season after missing his first two seasons with injuries. If
–Did the 49ers really need an outside linebacker? There was nobody they could have acquired in this draft that would have supplanted Parys Haralson or Lawson as a starter. Depth? Yes, that’s something they could have addressed, but . . .
–The 49ers did address their depth concerns at outside linebacker when they agreed to terms Monday with four-year veteran Marques Harris, an unrestricted free agent who started three games last season for the Chargers. He recorded 2.5 sacks last season.
–Let’s say, the Raiders had taken Michael Crabtree instead of Darrius Heyward-Bey, the 49ers then would’ve taken Oher at No. 11.
–If Crabtree and Oher were gone, I have no idea what the 49ers would’ve done with the first-round pick. They would not have taken B.J. Raji, Aaron Maybin or Brian Orakpo. It’s a good thing the draft fell the way it did. Might they have taken Rey Maualuga at No. 10? I really don’t know.
–Something else I don’t know . . . there was no way the 49ers could not trade up to get Oher, who fell to No. 23. But I have to believe there was some discussion about doing something when Maualuga was still available five picks away from the 49ers’ scheduled second-round selection at No. 43.
–When Maualuga and cornerback Darius Butler weren’t there, the 49ers traded out of the second and fourth rounds and picked up a first-round pick in 2010. You better believe the 49ers looked at
–Coach Mike Singletary admitted he did not want to trade out of the second round. But, later, in looking at whom the 49ers could have taken at No. 43 and considering all the scenarios, he came to the conclusion “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say, ‘Hey, you know what, Scot? That’s a heck of a move.'”
–The blow of losing Maualuga was softened on Day 2. The 49ers got an inside linebacker they were gushing over in the fifth round. What they kept saying about Pitt’s Scott McKillop: The guy is a football player. He’s expected to be a starter some day in the not-too distant future. And his long-snapping abilities give him added value.
–The 49ers showed a willingness to take a chance on a player in the later rounds. They are not going to take a chance like that in the first round. That’s why they weren’t going to select Raji. A couple years ago, they got a third-round value (on their board) in the fifth round (Tarell Brown). This year, the 49ers nabbed defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois in the seventh round.
–Speaking of Jean-Francois, he opened some eyes because of all the research the 49ers did on his teammate, Tyson Jackson. The 49ers would not have allowed
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