Mayock: Niners should ‘look’ at Sanchez, but selecting a tackle would be logical

NFL Network’s draft analyst Mike Mayock said the 49ers should take a look at USC quarterback Mark Sanchez if he is still available after nine picks in the draft. But, he said, the more logical selection would probably be an offensive tackle.

Mayock said he would not be surprised if three offensive tackles were selected among the top 10 picks in the draft. He mentioned Jason Smith (Baylor, which also happens to be Mike Singletary’s alma mater), Eugene Monroe (Virginia), Andre Smith (Alabama) and Michael Oher (Mississippi) as possibilities for the 49ers at No. 10.


He also spoke glowingly of a couple outside linebackers who would fit well into the 49ers’ 3-4 defense. Mayock said Wake Forest outside linebacker Aaron Curry, who he expects to go to the Chiefs at No. 3, might be the “safest” pick in the draft. He also said Texas‘ Brian Orakpo will be a stand-up pass-rusher who could be a top-10 pick.


As for Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, Mayock said he envisions him being more of a Pro Bowl free safety than a Pro Bowl cornerback. He said teams that show patience in taking a cornerback can get better value in the second and third rounds.


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Q: The 49ers will be looking to add a quarterback. Is it too early at No. 10 to get a quarterback or might they be better served trying to pick one up later?


Mayock: “The quarterback situation is kind of interesting this year, in that from a senior perspective, I don’t even have anyone until Rhett Bomar, who’s the No. 5 quarterback. He’s a about a third-round pick, at best.


“If you’re looking at quarterback – a starting quarterback that’s able to step in (and play in) the first year or two, I really think you’re really looking at (Matthew) Stafford (and) Sanchez. My No. 3 quarterback, Josh Freeman, is probably a late-first round pick because of his ability. He’s a project. He’s got great ability, but he’s a project.


“I think if you’re looking for a guy who can play soon, it’s Stafford or Sanchez. And I think Stafford is probably going to be gone. I’m guessing, and it’s way too early to say this, but probably Detroit at No. 1. Sanchez will be looked at, potentially by Kansas City at No. 3, maybe even a darkhorse like Jacksonville at No. 8.


“And if you’re (the 49ers and) sitting there at 10, and Sanchez is available, I think you got to be looking at him. He’s a kid who only started 16 games, but he’s got the ability and the toughness, the arm strength to learn the pro game and be a starter. This is a draft year, where I believe if you want to get a starter, you got to get him early.”


Q: At 10, what do you see as the 49ers’ most likely candidates to consider at that spot?


Mayock: “A logical one, given the fact that they gave up an awful lot of sacks this year on the offensive line . . . there are four maybe even five premier offensive tackles this year.


“I wouldn’t be surprised to see three of them go in the top 10. So I think a logical place for them would probably be up amongst Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe, Andre Smith and Michael Oher. Taking a look at those left tackles and trying to figure out if one of those guys makes sense.”


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NFL Network’s coverage of the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine begins with NFL Total Access at the Scouting Combine on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 11:30 a.m. (PT). The coverage from Indianapolis continues for a week.


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Here are Mayock’s position-by-position rankings entering the scouting combine:



1  *Matthew Stafford, Georgia          

2  *Mark Sanchez, Southern California    

3  *Josh Freeman, Kansas State  

4  *Nate Davis, Ball State        

5  Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State   


Running backs

1  *Chris Wells, Ohio State      

2  *Knowshon Moreno, Georgia          

3  *LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh       

4  *Donald Brown, Connecticut    

5  *Mike Goodson, Texas A&M    



1  Tony Fiammetta, Syracuse        

2  Quinn Johnson, LSU    

Brannan Southerland, Georgia              


Wide receivers

1  *Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech    

2  *Jeremy Maclin, Missouri          

3  *Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland        

4  *Percy Harvin, Florida

5  *Kenny Britt, Rutgers              


Tight ends

Brandon Pettigrew, Oklahoma State         

Shawn Nelson, Southern Mississippi  

Cornelius Ingram, Florida

4  *James Casey, Rice    

Travis Beckum, Wisconsin       



Max Unger, Oregon           

2  Eric Wood, Louisville        

Alex Mack, California        

4  A.Q. Shipley, Penn State     

Antoine Caldwell, Alabama            



Andy Levitre, Oregon State 

2  Duke Robinson, Oklahoma      

Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin       

4  Tyronne Green, Auburn           

5  Herman Johnson, LSU     


Offensive tackles

1  Jason Smith, Baylor 

Eugene Monroe, Virginia           

3  *Andre Smith, Alabama         

Michael Oher, Mississippi      

5  *Eben Britton, Arizona           


Defensive ends

1  Tyson Jackson, LSU    

Paul Kruger, Utah   

3  Robert Ayers, Tennessee     

Michael Bennett, Texas A&M    

Michael Johnson, Georgia Tech 


Defensive tackles

1  B.J. Raji, Boston College           

Peria Jerry, Mississippi      

3  Ron Brace, Boston College           

Fili Moala, Southern California    

5  Evander ‘Ziggy’ Hood, Missouri          


Inside linebackers

James Laurinaitis, Ohio State      

Rey Maualuga, Southern California    

3  Darry Beckwith, LSU    

Dannell Ellerbe, Georgia          

Jason Phillips, Texas Christian          


Outside linebackers

1  Aaron Curry, Wake Forest  

Brian Orakpo, Texas 

Brian Cushing, Southern California    

4  *Aaron Maybin, Penn State     

Everette Brown, Florida State   



Louis Delmas, Western Michigan      

Rashad Johnson, Alabama         

Patrick Chung, Oregon           

William Moore, Missouri          

5  Michael Hamlin, Clemson         



Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State      

2  *Vontae Davis, Illinois 

3  Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest  

Darius Butler, Connecticut    

5  *D.J. Moore, Vanderbilt       


* — underclassman granted special eligibility


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