49ers Blog and Q&A

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

April 12, 2007
More draft queries and theories

Question: Walter Thomas is his name. And I was wondering if you know whether or not the Niners even have him on their radar as a possible "last round" pick? This is a 6-5, 370-pound nose tackle/condo in a football uniform. And some say he can really move all that.

- Sammy Moore Jr.

Answer: I gotta be honest with you, Sammy. We've reached the time of the year where fibbing is not only possible, it's expected. If the Niners had this guy on their radar, they wouldn't admit it. And if they told me they were looking at this guy, I wouldn't print it.

- Matt Barrows

Question: If Alan Branch, Patrick Willis, Adam Carriker, and Amobi Okoye were all still there when the 49ers went on the clock, who do you think they would choose? What do you think of the 49ers maybe grabbing Michael Bush from Louisville in Round 3? He would be a great addition to the backfield to take some of the load from Frank Gore.

- Cesar, Arbuckle

Answer: Of those four, I think they would take Branch. He can play all three positions in a 3-4 front and his combination of size and speed comes along every five years or so. I think Bush would be a fantastic addition in Round 3. The lesson learned from Gore is that taking a running back with injury issues in the third round is worth the gamble. Besides, the 49ers need a competent backup for Gore in case he ever gets dinged up.

- Matt Barrows

Question: I'm writing about the inside linebacker position. I think Derek Smith is solid, but he's in his 11th year. Brandon Moore is a rock and Ulbrich adds good depth. I would like to add a player in the third or fourth round, but overall, I think our urgency is at defensive line, receiver, and offensive tackle. Can you please comment?

- Berger, Eeno

Answer: I would list the 49ers' position priorities like this: DL, WR, OL, RB, LB. I think the 49ers' philosophy is to throw eight or so linebackers into training camp this summer and see which ones rise to the top. I doubt they will draft someone to play insider linebacker specifically. Look for them to draft a very good athlete - a smallish defensive end, perhaps - and then throw him into the mix as linebacker.

- Matt Barrows

Question: Hey, Matt. What is your take on the 49ers' 2007 schedule? I think with the improved team and a favorable schedule they could definitely make the playoffs. I think if the Niners can get through the first 12 games with at least a 6-6 record then they can definitely close the season with four straight wins because they have three straight home games and then the last game on the road against Cleveland. If they can do that they would have great momentum heading into the playoffs.

- Brad, Davis

Answer: That's a good assessment, Brad, but remember what happened this past season. The 49ers still had a chance at the playoffs - albeit a faint one - and lost home games to Arizona and Green Bay, two beatable teams. Still, I agree with you that it seems they have a very nice opportunity to finish the season with a flurry and go into the postseason with some momentum. The other key games, to me, are the first two. The Cardinals have given them fits in recent years and they need to exorcise the demons from last year's game in St. Louis. They win those two and they are sitting pretty indeed.

- 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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