49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 13, 2007
Feeling a draft

Question: We'd all like to see the 49ers get better, and the draft is the best way. I have some serious misgivings about the head personnel guy -- 2005 Baas (essentially a first rounder) and the whole bottom of the draft are no help, and in 2006 (the jury is really out on Lawson) Williams, Robinson (can't gain a yard) and the rest down are non-contributors except for Oliver. Seems like more misses than hits. Your thoughts?
-- Tom, Gridley

Answer: I'm going to have to disagree with you, Tom. I think Scot McCloughan has done a very good job in two years. Consider this -- the 49ers had three guys in Saturday's Pro Bowl, none of whom were here when McCloughan took over. You have to give Lawson and Robinson time to develop. After all, both of them were learning brand new positions as rookies. As for Williams, he might have been a reach in round three last year, but it was the coaching staff, not the personnel department, that was clamoring for a return man. Baas definitely needs to step up. And when you consider that Philly receiver Reggie Brown was there for the taking in that draft, it makes the Baas selection all the more regrettable.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: Draft puzzle: The latest mock draft I saw has the 49ers choosing a safety at No. 11. Wouldn't they be better served by drafting a linebacker or nose guard than a safety?
-- Jim Maybie, Sacramento

Answer: At this stage of the game mock drafts are about as useful as ouija boards. But I tend to agree with you regarding safeties. Seems to me that defensive line, cornerback and receiver should come before safety on the 49ers' list of needs. However, prepare yourself for the ubiquitous "best player available" line in the coming weeks. Also, don't forget that Mike Nolan's favorite current NFL player is Ravens safety Ed Reed. Nolan knows that a good safety is worth his weight in gold.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: Where do you think the Niners are going in free agency?
-- Andrew, San Francisco.

Answer: My best guess -- cornerback. Why? Because rookie cornerbacks take a long time to develop.
-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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