Q&A: Maclin makes sense, but doubtful he’ll be around

Tonight — coincidentally, it was right around bed time for the kids — I took part in a live chat with the fans who gathered at 49erswebzone.com and 49ersparadise.com. Thanks to my wife for handling the tucking-in duties without me.


Here are some excerpts from the chat. The full transcript can be read at 49erswebzone.

Q: Would you consider Maclin a good value at 10? Chances of the Niners taking him?

Answer: A couple weeks ago, I would’ve answered no. But the more I consider it, and talk to others, I think the 49ers could do a lot worse than selecting Maclin. I think Crabtree is a clear-cut No. 1. I think Maclin is a clear-cut No. 2. And then there’s a considerable dropoff to the rest of the WR class. There are some good WRs that can be had later in the draft, but Crabtree and Maclin are pretty darn good.


Questions about the receivers, Morgan and Hill, as well as the chances the Jags’ signing of Torry Holt will impact their pick at No. 8 . . .

Answer: Josh Morgan was seen as a No.1 type receiver before all of his physical problems. Hill has always just been in a battle (no pun intended) to get on the field. . . . I have the Jags taking Orakpo, so I don’t see WR as a must-get for them in Round 1 . . . Battle is entering the final year of his contract. It doesn’t look as if he has a long-term future here, so he’s going to have to impress in camp . . . It’s possible Crabtree or Maclin could be there at No. 10, but I doubt it. . . . If Jags go with a tackle at 8, that could take somebody from the 49ers that they would’ve selected, sure.


Q: when do you think Thomas Clayton will get an opportunity to play in a regular season game? Who will be the #2 RB? Robinson, Clayton, Draft?

Answer: The coaches obviously want to win. When they feel comfortable putting Clayton in a regular-season game, they’ll do it. But he has to earn his way on the field. He’s had some moments in the exhibition season, but he’s yet to prove himself — in the eyes of the coaches. As for the No. 2 back this season, I think the 49ers will draft somebody in the second, third or fourth round. The onus will be on that person to win the job.


Q: Question why people think the 49ers would pass on Sanchez, as well as question about Alex Smith’s performance at minicamp.

Answer: The reason there is a question whether the 49ers would take Sanchez is because there is doubt whether he could be of any help this season. I think the 49ers would take a step backward if they were to draft a rookie QB in the first round. I’m not sure how much the decison-makers are thinking about this, but what if there’s a work stoppage in 2011? That’s about the first season that you could expect a QB selected this season to contribute. My best guess is that Shaun Hill will begin the season as the starter. He’s done enough to win the job. As for a report that Smith didn’t look good in minicamp, that — in my opinion — was a little off the mark. The guy was throwing his first live passes since early September. I thought the minicamp was a great success for Smith to get back on the field and start the process of knocking off the rust.


Q: What jumps out at you when you see the schedule?

Answer: The thing that stands out is that three of the 49ers’ first four games are against NFC West opponents. That should be a great barometer.


Questions about ranking Raji, Andre Smith and Michael Oher. . .

Answer:  I talked to someone with an NFL team today. (Not the 49ers.) He told me that he knows of some teams that have taken Raji off their draft boards. I don’t know that the 49ers have gone to that extreme, but I can see them being pretty cautious, considering the huge money that would be going his way. Personally, I think the 49ers would not be disappointed if Raji were selected in the first nine picks. I think, probably, Andre Smith would be ranked ahead of Oher.


Q: Matt, I want to get your thoughts on Michael Oher and Malcolm Jenkins. Would it not be more beneficial to pick a player that is the best overall pick among CB and S, instead of picking the 4th best OT?

Answer: I’m not a big fan of Jenkins with the No. 10 overall pick. The 49ers just took somebody like him last year. Reggie Smith was brought in as a corner, tried out there for a year and now he’s a safety. Jenkins, by all accounts, is one heck of a football player. But he’s probably a cover-2 corner. And I don’t think you can draft a guy at No. 10 to play safety when he really has no track record as a safety. I’d be more comfortable taking Oher at that point in the draft, if the choice was between those two players.


Q: Why do you not think that Everett Brown should be drafted by the niners at 10?

Answer: I think you’ll see that Brown is going to fall into the 20s. Teams want guys at least 6-foot-3 in that spot. If they’re not 6-3, they better have the kind of burst off the snap as a guy like Freeney. Brown doesn’t have that.


Q: Matt, do you think that McDonald’s knee injury is more serious than let on and how does this affect the Niners in the Draft?

Answer: We’re going to talk with Scot McCloughan on Wednesday, and that’s one topic i want him to address. I tried to press Mike Singletary on some of the injuries during the minicamp. All I was able to get out of him was that McDonald rehab was going to take longer than the others. It sounds as if he will be limited in training camp. To what extent? I don’t know. So, yes, I think the 49ers will be very open to grabbing a defensive lineman.


Q: In what round did the Press Democrat draft you?

Answer: I was a street free agent.


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