49ers Blog and Q&A

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

May 2, 2007
Post-draft hangover

Question: What do you think of the quality of the 49ers draft picks?
-- Jerry, Roseville

Answer: The stock answer is, “Ask me in three years.” However, I think the draft, especially the first day, was fantastic. I loved the two third-round selections, Jason Hill and Ray McDonald, and Patrick Willis is in just the right spot to win defensive rookie of the year.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: I was just wondering if you can give us a possible depth chart now, both offense and defense?
-- Cesar, Arbuckle

Answer: I could give you a pretty good guess right now, but the depth chart today is different than what it will look like in late August. For example, I'm sure Kwame Harris will be the starting right tackle when the team assembles for Friday's minicamp. But by the end of training camp, I figure Joe Staley, or even Adam Snyder, will have the job.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: As great as Saturday's draft was, Sunday's was a little like Alice In Wonderland. What's up with the (2) character issue players? I'm hoping Joe Cohen is one of coach Nolan's projects, on TV it said Joe spent his first year in college as a FULLBACK and maybe he will become our 'pile driver'. Note that Michael Bush was the first choice of round #4 (Raiders) and the other true FB Le'Ron McClain was chosen immediately after Clayton. Sigh! Do you think our coach's judgments relied too heavily on their one game contact with the South team?
-- Jim, Vacaville

Answer: Day 2 picks are always tough to evaluate because 1.) We novices are not too familiar with them 2.) The team is picking players for potential, not necessarily for their college production. The character-issue players also had the guys in the media trailer scratching our heads. I’m not sure you can preach character as much as Nolan does, and then draft two guys late in the draft who have fallen precisely because of their character concerns. As for Joe Cohen, he is one of these “potential” picks. Right now, he probably fits best as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme, but could become a nose tackle or even a left defensive end in the 49ers’ 3-4. the team is very happy with Moran Norris at fullback.
-- Matt Barrows

Question:You couldn't talk before re: 6'5" 370 NT Walter Thomas. Is he still on the radar? If not, care to say why? From your excellent and objective perspective, do you see any holes yet to be filled by the Niners following this superb draft? And when might we expect from you a list of the undrafted free agents (including your opinions) that the Niners bring in - especially Gore-style running backs?
-- Sammy Moore Jr., Sacramento.

Answer: We’ll get the entire list of undrafted free agents on Thursday. One guy they’re looking at is Akron QB Luke Getsy. I was assigned to observe and evaluate Getsy when he worked out at the scouting combine. My un-expert analysis was that he had an average arm and average athleticism. However, he’s supposed to be very bright and could provide a nice challenge to Shaun Hill for the job of third quarterback. Sorry, still can’t offer any deep thoughts on Thomas. My only guess is that he has some sort of injury/medical issues that scared off a lot of teams.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: First off, I really appreciate the coverage and commentary you did during the draft. But I was wondering if you knew what happened to former-WR Jason McAddley. He seemed like an exciting WR prospect but now I can't seem to find where he is. Any news?
-- Austin, Yreka

Answer: No news at all. I just scoured the archives and the last thing I found was the 49ers cutting him last September. If McAddley resurfaces, it likely will be before training camp.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: Thank you for your excellent coverage of the 49ers draft. If Brown and Clayton do behave themselves, how good could they be on the field? Are they expected to be just backups or do they have the talent to eventually become starters?
-- Paul, Davis

Answer: I’d actually say that Clayton, the sixth-round pick, has more potential than Brown. He was heavily recruited out of the D.C. area (where I grew up) and initially went to Florida State. He transferred to Kansas State, ran into some problems there and never really played much his entire college career. He comes in with little wear and tear, a big frame and can catch the ball out of the backfield. Scot McCloughan sounded really excited about Clayton when we spoke to him on Wednesday.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: Just a post draft quicky for you; Kansas City did not draft any OL players yet they lost two OL starters in free agency. Do you think coach Nolan will pursue some draft choices for next year and trade Smiley and/or Harris?
-- Jim, Vacaville

Answer: It sounded like the 49ers like their o-line depth right now and don’t want to trade. However, if a trade is coming, it likely will be after the upcoming minicamps when teams really get a good sense of their depth or lack thereof.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: Who do you like better Adalius Thomas or Patrick Willis?
-- Harsh, Berkeley

Answer: You have to go with the younger guy, right?
-- 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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