With 10 days to go before the draft, some of the big-name prospects are beginning to drop in at 49ers headquarters. League sources confirm that UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse visited today and that Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant will be by tomorrow. Remember, including all-star games, the combine, pro days and visits, the 49ers will have sat down with hundreds of draft prospects by the time the draft begins. Still, it's fun to take a stab at what they're thinking ...
Ducasse. Last week, draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. noted that Ducasse could be one of the offensive tackles available in the second round should the 49ers miss out on one in the first round. Ducasse is big - 6-5, 332 pounds - and can move, and he has the physical gifts of a first-round pick. But he is raw and didn't face many high-caliber opponents at UMass, something that was evident during Senior Bowl practices. Ducasse also was limited to left tackle at the Senior Bowl; He'd likely start out on the right side if drafted by the 49ers. All of which is to say that if the 49ers grabbed him, it would be hard to see him starting right away.
Bryant. Will the 49ers take a Big 12 receiver represented by Eugene Parker in two straight drafts? Boy, I really don't see it happening, but the 49ers are adding a bit of intrigue by bringing the Oklahoma State wideout in for a visit. My read on Bryant is that he's more physically gifted than Michael Crabtree but lacks Crabtree's intensity. Perhaps the 49ers figure that a passing offense that features Crabtree, Bryant and Vernon Davis is too dangerous to pass up. Or maybe they're appearing interested to drum up a draft-day trade. Who knows? (Which is exactly what the 49ers want the league to think). It's noteworthy that both Mike Singletary and Trent Baalke attended Bryant's workout in Lufkin, Texas last month.
Here's what Bryant had to say about the Parker connection at the scouting combine in February:
You have the same agent, Eugene Parker, as Michael Crabtree. Have any teams asked about that?
DB: No teams are asking about none of that. That situation, Mike's his own man, I'm my own man.
Did you talk to Eugene Parker about his holdout reputation?
DB: I really didn't look at it. I looked at Eugene, what type of person he was. Checking his background. Everything was great. He also had the best player in the NFL as one of his players. Larry Fitzgerald.
How important is it for you to get to training camp on time?
DB: It will be real important. To be honest, I can't wait to get back in pads. Most likely I will be there in camp.
-- Matt Barrows