Penn State's Aaron Maybin will visit the 49ers today and tomorrow, meaning that the team will have hosted just about every top player that might be available at pick No. 10 on April 25. Maybin played defensive end at Penn State but the 49ers would use him as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. Maybin's best asset is that he is very quick off the snap and he had at least one tackle behind the line of scrimmage in every game he started in 2008.
Will the 49ers take Maybin at No. 10? Given their track record, I think they'd have a hard time convincing themselves to do so. For one thing, he's an underclassman who started only one full season at Happy Valley. GM Scot McCloughan prefers seniors. More concerning, however, is Maybin's size. He weighed in at 249 pounds at the combine in February but played at Penn State at a much lower weight, about 235 pounds. Will bulking up cause him to lose that quickness? And if he can't add the weight, how will he hold up against the 330-pound offensive tackles he'll have to face every week in the NFL?
When looking for outside linebackers, the 49ers have typically taken bigger, stouter college defensive ends in the middle rounds. Parys Haralson weighed more than 250 pounds as a senior at Tennessee. Jay Moore weighed more than 270 as a senior at Nebraska. Manny Lawson is the exception, and after three seasons he only recently has tipped the 250-pound mark. That experiment might give the 49ers pause with Maybin.
The two DE-OLBs that would best fit the 49ers' mold for the position are Texas' Brian Orakpo and Tennessee's Robert Ayers. Both are big, stout senior defensive ends who would be able to hold up in NFL trenches. Ayers made a habit of pancaking his offensive tackle opponents during Senior Bowl practices in January. The problem is that Orakpo probably won't be around at pick No. 10 while it might be too early to choose Ayers there.
The team has not arranged a visit with Florida State's Everette Brown, who is a lot like Maybin in that he's a smallish underclassman who doesn't have a very big body of work from which to judge him. It's hard to see the 49ers choosing him, either.
Potential No. 10 picks:
WR Michael Crabtree....visited
OLB Everette Brown......not visited
QB Josh Freeman.........visited
CB Malcolm Jenkins.....not visited
WR Jeremy Maclin........not visited
ILB Rey Maualuga........visited
OLB Aaron Maybin.......visited
OT Michael Oher......... will visit
NT. B.J. Raji..................visited
QB Mark Sanchez........visited
OT Andre Smith...........will visit
-- Matt Barrows