Question: You mentioned that Sopoaga will likely be tried out at D-End this summer. Is this something you have heard being tossed around by the 49ers, or is it just your feeling of the situation?
Answer: It’s my feeling of the situation. He’s entering the final year of his contract and thus far hasn’t made all that good an impression as an interior lineman. He could be like Igor Olshansky of the Chargers - a super-strong defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.
-- Matt Barrows
Question: With the draft approaching what should we be looking for? Also I heard that Denver wanted to trade up to number 10 for Adam Carriker. Would the Niners consider trading number 11 and moving back?
Scott, Elk Grove
Answer: If the 49ers feel they could get Dwayne Bowe or Robert Meachem with the Broncos’ selection, I think they’d move back. They would get a couple more picks in the process, making it more likely they could then trade back into the first round to select Justin Harrell or Ray McDonald.
Question: Is it coincidence or destiny that Patrick Willis of Ole Miss wore number 49? The Niners will take Willis with the #11 pick and he will be the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Coach Nolan's new 3-4 defense needs a playmaker at linebacker, number 49 from Ole Miss is the man. Remember you heard it here first! Your thoughts?
Dennis, Elk Grove
Answer: He’s certainly a hot name right now. So hot, in fact, that there’s a lot of chatter that he will be snapped up before the 49ers get to pick. Remember that the Redskins, who pick sixth, are talking to the Bears about trading for Elk Grove’s Lance Briggs. If they can’t get the best linebacker in free agency, would they then select the best linebacker in the draft?
-- Matt Barrows
Question: What is up with the Patrick Willis rumors? Mel Kiper is now saying that this will be the 49ers’ pick. His name really only started getting serious mention in connection with the 49'ers in the last week. Is this all a smokescreen? I always hear that teams should never trust any rumors that come out in the week before the draft.
Mark, Lexington, Ky
Answer: Hard to say what is real and what is rumor. Last year, everyone thought the 49ers would take either A.J. Hawk or Vernon Davis. They took Davis, but would have been very happy with Hawk. This year, it’s either Carriker or Willis. And it makes sense. The 49ers got a good look at both players at the Senior Bowl. If both are available, it simply will come down to which they feel is the better player.
- Matt Barrows