If the 49ers miss out on an offensive tackle in the first round, they'll have a hard time finding one in the second, according to the dean of draft analysts, Mel Kiper, who spent about two hours answering draft questions this morning. "I think in the second round, if you're looking at the offensive tackle position ... you're going to be hard-pressed," Kiper said.
Kiper said that if the 49ers waited until the second round for a tackle, they would be looking at a lot of small-school products. He mentioned two possibilities: Vladimir Ducasse (6-5, 332) from UMass and Ramon Harewood (6-6, 353) out of Morehouse College. I asked Kiper about West Texas A&M's J'Marcus Webb, who visited the 49ers last week. Kiper said he questioned Webb's quickness. A speedy defensive end, Kiper said, is "going to beat you off the edge, right out of the snap." Kiper said he had Webb rated as a fifth- or sixth-round pick.
The Merc's Dan Brown asked about the 49ers' prospects in the first round. Kiper said he thought one scenario for the 49ers was drafting Florida cornerback Joe Haden at pick 13 and Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis at 17. Kiper noted that Nate Clements hasn't been the shut-down cornerback the 49ers were hoping for, and he described Shawntae Spencer as "decent but not great."
As for tackle, Kiper said he thought the best pure right tackle, Oklahoma's Trent Williams, would be off the board by the time the 49ers picked. He said he thought Rutgers' Anthony Davis could be available at pick 17. Kiper said that lack of concentration has been an issue for Davis. But he also noted that Davis had "enormous potential", and had he gone back to Rutgers for his senior season, Davis could have been a "Top 5, Top 7 pick," in Kiper's opinion.
Kiper drew a comparison to criticisms surrounding Michael Oher, who was picked 23rd overall by Baltimore last year. "That was not a surprise," Kiper said. "Michael Oher, at one point in time as you remember, was considered a Top 5 pick overall and he dropped all the way down to the Ravens... This is a guy who had a heck of a rookie year and may be a future All Pro offensive tackle."
Kiper also noted that if Davis were off the board at pick 17, the 49ers could go with Idaho's Mike Iupati. "Because he can play guard, and because he can play maybe as a developmental right tackle - if you want to develop him," Kiper said.
Kiper thought that Round 2 could be the spot where the 49ers find a receiver/return man. He noted Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard and Minnesota's Eric Decker as possibilities. Mike Singletary was on hand for Gilyard's pro day last month.
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-- Matt Barrows