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April 24, 2009
Crystal-ball look at 49ers draft

It's time for my fearless 1-9 prediction on whom the 49ers will take over the weekend draft. If I hit on even one of these, it means that I'm clairvoyant. The NSA probably will kidnap me and force me to work in an underground bunker where I float on my back in a warm, shallow pool while brain-linked to a trio of fellow precogs. If I strike out, this post gets mysteriously erased and I show up at each of your homes with a neurolizer. Please look right here, sir ... *FLASH*

1. (10th) OT Michael Oher, Ole Miss, 6-5, 309. This draft is as much about attitude as it is talent. Oher has the nastiness to play right tackle and the talent to eventually move to the left. He needs to be more consistent, and you wonder if Marvel Smith would be a perfect mentor.


2. (43rd) RB Shonn Greene, Iowa, 5-11, 227. Rushed for 1,805 yards last year despite the fact that everyone knew he was coming. Greene has a huge lower body, runs low to the ground and is tough to tackle. The combination of Gore and Greene (better start coming up with nicknames) would be pretty imposing.


3. (74th) OLB Paul Kruger, Utah, 6-4, 263. Kruger might not be as athletic as other OLB candidates, but he hustles as much as anyone. Kruger mostly played in a three-point stance with the Utes but he has experience standing up. He dominated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.


4. (111th) QB Stephen McGee, Texas A&M, 6-3, 225. A quarterback with a shoulder injury who has struggled with ever-changing offensive schemes. Sound familiar? McGee has as much physical talent as anyone, but he's been inconsistent. He'd benefit from being in a stable environment for a few seasons. Sound familiar?


5A. (146) ILB Scott McKillop, Pitt, 6-1, 244. Not much to look at but McKillop has an uncanny knack for fighting through the slop and finding the ball carrier. A former wrestler who hoisted 225 pounds 27 times, McKillop would be a future "Ted" candidate and, at worst, a future back-up to Patrick Willis at "Mike."


5B. (171) WR Brandon Gibson, Washington State, 6-1, 206. Another offensive player who suffered after his team changed schemes. Gibson was great as a junior but merely good as a senior. He doesn't have excellent speed, but he is an effective route runner.


6. (184) OLB Pierre Walters, Eastern Illinois, 6-4, 269. He might need a season or two to learn the position, but Walters has great upside. Bench pressed 225 pounds 29 times and is just the type of stout linebacker Scot McCloughan likes.


7. (219) WR/QB Julian Edelman, Kent State, 5-11, 195. A poor man's Pat White. Edelman was a prolific passer at San Mateo and then Kent State, but at 5-11 (and with 4.48 speed) teams are looking at him as a wideout who would make a scary weapon in the Wildcat.


7. (244) TE Bear Pascoe, Fresno State, 6-5, 251. The former quarterback is a relentless blocker and is a much bigger threat in the passing game than the tight end he would replace, Billy Bajema.


-- 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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