49ers Blog and Q&A

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

April 10, 2007
Picking a lineman

Question: Hi, Matt, Always enjoy your analysis on the Niners. My question I guess is more or less hypothetical, but stranger things have happened in the draft. Everybody knows that even with their new free agents, the 49ers need defensive help in a lot of areas. But let’s suppose that, for whatever reasons, Branch, Carriker, Willis and Landry are not on the board when they pick. Do you think they would ever consider drafting Levi Brown, the huge offensive tackle from Penn State, or would they try to trade down for an extra pick and go after Meachem or Bowe?
-- Richard Thorpe, Sacramento

Answer: If the 49ers did go with an offensive lineman with their No. 11 pick, I imagine the big-bodied Brown would be the guy they target. The scenario gets a little more interesting when you consider that two of the 49ers’ starting offensive linemen, Kwame Harris and Justin Smiley, are entering the final year of their contracts. However, I have to believe that receiver is a much bigger concern at this time. To answer your question, I think they would try to trade down for Meachem or Bowe, or even select Bowe outright with the No. 11 pick.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: Matt, Some mock drafts show Arkansas DE Jamaal Anderson dropping into the 49ers' range with the 11th pick. He seems big enough to hold up against the run while providing a better pass rush than Adam Carriker. Could he be a good fit with the 49ers?
-- Kevin, Pleasant Hill

Answer: It’s a really good question considering that Anderson’s size (6-6, 286) almost is identical to that of Carriker, whom many believe is the prototypical defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. What I’m hearing, however, is that Anderson is more of a speed guy and might not have the strength to hold his ground on a 3-4 line. He had 22 reps on the bench press, which isn’t bad at all for someone with such long arms (Carriker had 33) but his lower body strength apparently needs improvement. If the 49ers were sticking with a 4-3, I think there’s no way they could pass up Anderson at No. 11. As it stands now, he might be worth more as trade bait if he drops to No. 11.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: It's no secret we need a WR and D-linemen in the draft that can both contribute right away. I would be happy with Carikker or even Branch at No. 11, then trading back into the first round and getting Bowe or Meachem. It seems as if the Lions are shopping the number 2 pick. What would we have to give to move up to number 2? (and draft C.Johnson)What picks would we likely have left and what stout D-linemen would be around for the taking? By the way, Matt, love the column....great work!
-- Jason, Sacramento

Answer: It would take a lot to trade up to No. 2. In fact, the unofficial “draft value chart” says that the 49ers would have to trade all 10 picks - and maybe throw in a player or two - to accumulate enough value to nab Johnson at pick No. 2. In other words, it’s not going to happen. A team that pulls that type of trade feels that it’s one player away from the Super Bowl. The 49ers are not in that category. Yet.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: I just finished reading a projected seven-round mock draft by 'expert' Tom Marino. Tom has the 49ers with 10 picks over 6 rounds. Of the 10 picks he has Mike Nolan picking eight defensive players and two offensive. Of the 10 picks, I had heard of only one of his picks: first-round pick Adam Carriker. My first question is this: Will Nolan be this lopsided with the number of Ds over Os? Q No. 2:Do you believe he will address the needs of the offense: WR, FB to address short yardage, and an RT that can pass block?
-- Jim, Vacaville

Answer: If the 49ers keep all 10 picks - and that’s a big ‘if’ - I see them taking at least one receiver, a running back and an offensive lineman. In other words, I would say the ratio would be 7 to 3 at most. As for specific offensive positions, the team is quite happy with fullback Moran Norris. If they bring in a running back, it could be a so-called “change of pace” back, i.e., a pass-catcher with speed. Look for Frank Gore to handle the bulk of the short-yardage situations this season.
-- 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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