49ers Blog and Q&A

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

July 5, 2007
It's supplemental time again

The 49ers have one of their deepest offensive lines in recent memory, but that won't stop them at taking a peek at potential supplemental draft pick Jared Gaither when he works out at the University of Maryland on Monday, July 9.

After all, there's a lot to see.

Gaither, an offensive tackle, stands 6-9, weighs 350 pounds and not too long ago ran the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds. And that is precisely why the 49ers and probably every other NFL team will have a scout on hand - to see if the big guy can still move like a man 100 pounds his junior.

Gaither played only two years with the Terrapins but is eligible to enter the NFL because he spent one season at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. (which is where he was clocked in the 40). He started 17 games in two seasons at Maryland but recently was ruled academically in ineligible for the upcoming season. Gaither also was suspended for two weeks this past summer for violating team rules.

The 49ers certainly don't have a need at offensive line this season.

They are currently two-deep at every position along the line, and only two of the players in that mix - Patrick Estes and rookie Joe Staley - are without starting experience. However, that depth likely will evaporate next season when Larry Allen, Justin Smiley and Kwame Harris - all starters last season - become free agents.

Another reason they might be tempted by Gaither?

The offensive line has been Mike Nolan's top priority since he was hired, and he said recently that he will continue to bolster the line every chance he gets.

The 49ers already have looked at two other players who are available in July 12's supplemental draft, Georgia cornerback Paul Oliver and Nebraska offensive lineman Chris Patrick. Gaither promises to be the most intriguing of the three.

The 49ers have not been active players in the supplemental draft. But they nearly made a bid for Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks last summer.

They were poised to take Brooks in the fourth round but the Bengals beat them to him, selecting Brooks with their choice in the third round.

-- 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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