The most in-demand player heading into the draft? It might be guard Amini Silatolu, a Tracy product who by the end of next week either will have visited or worked out for more than two thirds of the teams in the league. The 49ers are one of the teams who have shown interest.
The reason for the intrigue is twofold. One, Silatolu didn't get an awful lot of exposure at Midwestern State College in Wichita Falls, Texas where he played left tackle. His scouting report is not nearly as complete as someone who played at, say, Wisconsin or LSU.
Two, Silatolu, who stands 6-3 and weighs 311 pounds, dominated opponents in college (see below at 1:26, 1:34, 1:56 and , ouch, 4:44, etc.) and the latest buzz is that he could be taken at the end of the first round. If the 49ers (30th overall) took him, they would be unique to the league in drafting their two starting guards in the first round of the draft. NFL Draft Scout rates Silatolu as the third-best guard in the draft.
With two weeks to go until the draft begins, right guard is the only missing piece on the 49ers' starting roster. The team has checked out a handful of veteran guards, including still-available Leonard Davis and Jason Brown, but it appears they will wait until after the draft to bring in a veteran if they do so at all.
Last year the 49ers moved up 11 spots in the fifth round to select Daniel Kilgore out of Appalachian State. The assumption is that no matter who else the team brings in, Kilgore will get a chance to compete for the vacant right guard spot this offseason.
Another option might be Mike Person, a seventh-round pick from Montana State. When Person was drafted, general manager Trent Baalke said the intention was to move him inside to guard. Person spent most of his rookie year at tackle, but he still could be moved inside to guard depending on the moves the team makes this offseason.
-- Matt Barrows