49ers Blog and Q&A

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

March 8, 2007
Finding a receiver

Question: If Calvin Johnson is going to be the first wideout to go and we have no No. 1 on the roster, who in the draft might be able to fill that role? What about Meachem out of Tennessee or Bowe out of LSU. Other possibilities: Jackson out of Cal. Honestly I would take any of the Michigan or Cal guys coming out this year.

Answer: The problem with Meachem and Bowe is that they would be reaches with the No. 11 pick but probably won't be around when it's the 49ers turn to pick in Round Two. One possibility is that the 49ers go defense at No. 11 -- say, DE Adam Carriker or LB Patrick Willis -- then package their second rounder with a third- and/or fourth-round pick to nab a receiver at the end of the first round. Cal's Jackson, by the way, was a sophomore last season and is not in the draft.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: Has Nolan ever considered Robinson or Battle as quarterbacks as back-ups to Smith? I can't see Smith as a No. 1 QB. He just doesn't have it.
-- George Watson, Lincoln

Answer: Michael Robinson would be the emergency back-up. But it would take an awful lot of bad luck -- injuries to Smith, Dilfer and Hill -- before you see him under center. It way be a wee bit early to kick Smith to the curb.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: How did we not get Adalius Thomas?
-- Andrew, San Francisco.

Answer: He was No. 2 on the hit list. When the 49ers struck gold with their No. 1 target, Nate Clements, Thomas fell off their list. At the risk of sounding like a fawning Mike Nolanite, I think it was the right move. Clements is younger than Thomas -- 27 vs. 29 -- and plays a position that's hard to project when it comes to college players. That is, it's easier to tell if a college linebacker is going to be productive on the NFL level than it is a college cornerback. Thomas certainly would have been a sexier addition, but Clements should pay big dividends. He adds an element of toughness to the secondary and the 49ers basically can put him on the opponent's best receiver. That will allow Nolan to get a lot more creative as far as defensive schemes.
-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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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