49ers Blog and Q&A

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

July 23, 2008
Wallace signs; one draft pick to go

The 49ers signed their fourth-round drafy pick, center Cody Wallace, today. That leaves only first rounder Kentwan Balmer to sign before the team's first practice at 9 a.m. Friday. This is my sixth season covering the 49ers, and while some signings have been last minute -- Kwame Harris, Vernon Davis -- I have yet to see a draft pick miss the first day of practice entirely.

Of the team's six draft picks, Wallace -- to me, at least -- was the most puzzling. In Eric Heitmann, David Baas and Tony Wragge, the 49ers seem to have an abundance of players who can play center. Additionally, the 49ers tend to favor larger offensive linemen, and Wallace is on the small side. He also had very mixed results against the likes of Sedrick Ellis and Trevor Laws at the Senior Bowl.

It's true that Heitmann did not have a stellar season last year, but you could apply that criticism to anyone on the interior of the offensive line. I expect Heitmann to rebound this year, thus giving the 49ers a tough decision as far as giving him a contract extension.

-- 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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