Question: Hey Matt. Just wondering, how much interest do you see the 49ers having in Sanchez? If he's there at 10, do you think the 49ers would take him?
Answer: For all the positive press that Sanchez is receiving at the moment, I just don't see the 49ers taking him. My read on the subject is that the 49ers feel they have three quarterbacks perfectly capable of running the type of offense that Jimmy Raye is cooking up for this season. Remember, Raye enjoyed his greatest success with Elvis Grbac at the helm. Remember also that Shaun Hill is 7-3 as a starter and that the 49ers' decision makers still believe in Alex Smith.
Question: Do the 49ers have any plans to bring Malcolm Jenkins in for a workout?
And, does that mean a true lack of interest... or maybe alot?
John, Bentonville, AR
Answer: Yes, no, maybe. There could be several factors at play here. It could be that Jenkins is indeed visiting and the beatwriters just haven't found out about. (Our zone defense isn't impenetrable.) Or that the 49ers feel they've learned enough about Jenkins at the combine and his pro day. Or that the 49ers are super-jazzed about him and don't want to tip their hand. In other words, the whole process is designed to keep everyone - me, you, the other 31 teams - guessing. Which is why the draft is so fun ...
Question: Hey Matt, I just watched Maiocco do a T.V. piece for NFL Network on the 49er draft needs (Mel Kiper he ain't!). How could you let him get that gig? You are way more qualified for that....aren't you? Or are you saving yourself for ESPN?!?!?!?!
Well, how about some insight on what YOU think will happen with that #10 pick
Answer: They tried to put me on TV but there was too much glare off my head. Also, I say "um" like, um, 100 times a sentence. In other words, I'm custom-built for print ... I wouldn't have said too much differently than Maiocco anyway. I think it's O-lineman or pass rusher at No. 10. (Unless Crabtree falls ... or the 49ers trade down ... or Raji slides ... or ... )
Question: Hey Matt, two-part question here: Do you thing the Bears overpaid? And how much do you hear the 49ers were willing to give up to get Cutler?
Answer: Yes, I think the Bears overpaid. They've got big questions at tackle (they drafted an injured player, Chris Williams, last year, then signed another injured guy, Orlando Pace, to play on the other side) and at wide receiver where a defensive back/return man, Devin Hester, is their most dangerous player. That is, they brought in a quarterback but by trading away several high picks, they limited the ways to make that quarterback better. ... Dunno how much the 49ers were willing to part with because it never reached that stage.
Question: Now that Bruce is back, do you think the 49ers should seriously consider signing Holt? I think the duo could help Alex Smith find his groove. And I'm sure they would also be beneficial to Shaun Hill and the young receivers. I'm sure a one-year contract wouldn't hurt.
Chris, El Cerrito
Answer: I spoke briefly to Holt's agent this week and it doesn't seem as if there was any interest from the 49ers. Now that Bruce is back, the 49ers have their veteran receiver. Look for them to add one more through the draft.
Question: Hey Matt, big fan of yours. Do you think the 49ers could benefit from any of the free agents that are left? The signing of Marvel Smith helps, but we have a few holes to fill. Will they all be filled in the draft?
Answer: I think the 49ers are just about finished with free agency. There's a chance that they'll add tight end Tony Curtis if they don't find a blocking tight end in the draft. But don't hold your breath for any big names.
Question: Matt, my question is more of a statement. I did some personal research and found that 31.2% of interceptions in the NFL last season came from safeties, with 4 of the 5 players with more than 5 INT's being safeties. Of the niner's 12 interceptions a big ZERO came from the safety position... Do you think that Dashon Goldson can actually get after the ball? Because I think that Alfonso Smith could come in and make a difference immediately. 21 interceptions in 4 seasons is impressive. Could he convert to safety? He'll definitely be there for us in the 2nd.
Answer: I have no doubt in my mind that if Dashon Goldson stays healthy this season he will lead the 49ers in interceptions. But that's a big if. Goldson has not been able to stay on the field, not in college and not in the NFL despite playing a bit part the last two seasons. Can he put that behind him? Sometimes a player can do that. Look at Frank Gore. But most of the time, the injury bug sticks with a player throughout his career. (See: Woods, Rashaun; Jennings, Jonas).
Question: Looking way ahead, the 49ers are going to have some serious cuts once the draftees are on the roster. How do you see the numbers breaking down by position? Will the 49ers carry 4 or 5 RB's? 2 or 3 TE's? Can they really carry seven DL's if they draft a NT? I'm wondering what chance fringe players like Clayton, Ziegler, Sims, and Hudson or even aging veterans like Battle and Ulbrich have of making the roster this year? Who's most vulnerable?
Answer: Preseason injuries certainly will help sort things out. I think everyone you mentioned, save Jeff Ulbrich and Arnaz Battle, are vulnerable. Ulbrich is a special teams ace and, as of now, he is the primary backup at both "ted" and "mike" linebacker. Aside from Isaac Bruce, Battle is the only wideout with significant starting experience and he's also a tough downfield blocker. I know everyone wonders about Thomas Clayton. I wonder, too, why someone with good hands and good preseason production hasn't gotten more work in the regular season. But the reality is that the 49ers likely will spend a high- to mid-round pick on a running back this year. Do they keep five RBs on the active roster? Clayton will have to prove his special-teams worth - and edge out Zak Keasey - to make the 53-man.