Question: If the Niners indeed bring in a veteran to play RT, be it Marvel Smith or Levi Jones, does that solidify them drafting a pass rusher at the 10th spot if one of more of the trio are available in Brown, Orakpo and Maybin? And who do you feel the Niners would like the most out of those three?
Answer: If the 49ers brought in Smith or Jones, I don't think that precludes them from drafting a tackle at No. 10. But it does give them more leeway to go after a pass rusher. Of the three you mentioned, I think Orakpo (if he's there) fits the big-body 49er mold the best. But something to keep in mind - McCloughan likes getting value out of that position by taking lightly regarded 4-3 ends and converting them into OLBs. (See: Haralson, Parys; Moore, Jay). That is, it might be a position that the 49ers think they can bolster in rounds three through five.
By the way, Marvel Smith is still considering the 49ers' offer. I think it's fair to say that he was under whelmed by the numbers and is hoping the 49ers sweeten them a bit ...
Question: Being that Coach Singletary is an "old school" type of persona, do you think he will build the team from the inside out starting with his lines? Seems to make sense, being that he wants to run the ball.
Layton, Kapaau, Hi
Answer: Definitely. And even more to the point, GM McCloughan thinks the same way. ... However, at some point you have to start adding skill players to the mix. That's why I keep harping on Percy Harvin. It seems that Harvin would be an ideal compliment to the power-based attack the 49ers want to run. He could be a change-of-pace back and someone who scares defensive backs with his speed. Harvin certainly needs refinement as a receiver. But in the first year, you could get a lot of mileage out of him by using him the same way the Gators used him - as a quasi rb-wr who catches a lot of screens.
Question: Matt, So, I have been contemplating the OT problem for the 49ers. And then it came to me: Take the bust at tight end who is a great blocker and put him at right tackle. With his athleticism and good feet, this should be a achievable switch. And every once in awhile, do the tackle eligible thing and let him catch and run, run, run.
Ed, Eugene, Or
Answer: I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess you're referring to Vernon Davis. The funny thing is, Davis was asked - jokingly - last season what would happen if he gained 50 pounds and played left tackle. Davis' non-joking response: He'd be the greatest left tackle that ever lived.
Question: What about Levi Jones? What are his upsides and negatives?
Answer: Upsides are that he's not quite 30, that he has experience at left tackle and that he's mostly been durable (though he hasn't had a 16-game season in the least three seasons). Negatives are that he might be a little light for the 49ers' taste to play the right side and that he's still under contract with the Bengals. Jones, if you'll recall, is the guy who got into a casino-floor fight with Joey Porter two years ago.
Question: With Singletary's reaction to the infamous VD in-game situation as a cautionary tale...one has to wonder what he'll do if he finds the "mole" on his coaching staff. (As Mr T would say: "I pity the fool.") So Matt, what odds to you attach to these three potential MS scenarios: He 1) drops trow and moons the guy; 2) points to the "door of no return"; or 3) in another display of public passion, tells the press, "Can't coach with him, can't trust him, cannot do it!"?
Answer: I'm going to offer a fourth scenario: Singletary identifies the culprit, gives him a stern warning and is confident the issue is resolved. ... By the way, I have to believe that Singletary knows who's been complaining. You don't exactly need a private detective and a forensics kit to figure it out. ...
Question: Last year about this time - actually after the draft - we found out that you guys were not being permitted to attend practices at the minicamps. Has that policy changed? Do you expect to be able to attend and report on all practices?
Answer: Those were the June OTAs in which the 49ers did the bare minimum by opening one of the sessions. I'm not sure what the policy will be this June, but I have a funny feeling Singletary's going to limit access as much as he can.