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On Monday, February 27th, 49erswebzone.com and 49ersparadise.com held a chat session with draft guru Colin Lindsay of Great Blue North Draft Report. Attendees were able to ask Colin questions regarding the NFL Draft from a 49ers fan's perspective. Colin had some interesting takes on the NFL Draft. Below are some key points that Colin hit during the chat session. They have been slightly edited to make more sense outside of a chat room environment. These questions were asked by 49ers fans from the two fan sites.
What are your thoughts on taking tight end Vernon Davis of Maryland with the 49ers' 6th pick? Would the 49ers take him that high?
Colin: After the performance he put on today? Yes. Speed, size and a great kid who doesn't mind blocking. He would give Smith a great target and really open things up for the other young receivers. Davis is the real deal. He plays the game with a passion meaning the team that gets him is going to get a tight end who can stretch the field like a wide receiver.
Does the impact of tendering Brandon Lloyd a contract change any of that?
Colin: Not really...the 49ers weren't going to take a WR at #6 anyway, but with Lloyd locked up for a year, that could take the pressure off them to reach for a WR in the second or third rounds. The 49ers still need help big time at wide receiver. Be patient. 2007 is loaded at wide receiver.
It has been mentioned that cornerback Anwar Phillips is a guy the 49ers interviewed. Were there any others?
Colin: Teams can interview up to 60 guys so they will interview a lot of players. The 49ers prime need is at defensive back ... this is a very deep draft at [cornerback] so they should be able to get a decent player in either the 2nd or 3rd rounds.
Shouldn't this draft be used to strengthen the offensive unit (WR, TE, RB, O-line) around Alex Smith?
Colin: Almost every team in the league will be looking to add some depth along the OL in this draft however it is my understanding that the 49ers are reasonably happy with their unit especially with young guys Smiley, Baas and Snyder coming along.
If you had to call the 49ers pick right now, who do you think they are leaning towards?
Colin: I would think that plan A would be to hope that all 3 quarterbacks go in the top 5, meaning either Ferguson or Mario Williams would fall to #6. I think they'd probably prefer D'Brickashaw Ferguson; Failing plan A, you are probably looking at A.J. Hawk or Vernon Davis at that spot.
Would you select linebacker A.J. Hawk or tight end Vernon Davis?
Colin: Davis. Hawk is a real nice player but he doesn't really rush the passer. Davis has the physical potential to be one of the best at the position.
And if defensive end Mario Williams is there?
Colin: That's a real tough call because Williams really isn't a 3-4 defensive end. He could play there but would be kind of wasted tying up blockers. You'd almost have to think about going back to the 4-3 if you wanted him.
If the 49ers pass on Vernon Davis in the first round, what are the odds that tight end Marcedes Lewis of UCLA would fall to them at the top of the 2nd round.
Colin: Not likely. There are a number of teams looking at tight ends so the top 3 guys should go in round 1.
Given their cap limitations, do you think the Jets rumored trade for #1 is just a smokescreen?
Colin: Right now, it really is hard to figure out what is going on at the top of the board. There are 3 quality quarterbacks and the Jets figure to get one if they want at #4. However, they could be trying to force a team who wants a quarterback (Oakland maybe) to think about moving up to #4 to get one. There is just so much sorting out to do though in the next two months. Should be very exciting. Things could get very interesting for the 49ers if one of the three quarterbacks is on the board. In that scenario I would expect a number of teams may be interested in jumping ahead of the Raiders, who are at #7, to get that quarterback. This would open up some trade possibilities for the 49ers. Drop down into the teens and you still will get a top defensive back like Michael Huff of Texas or Jimmy Williams of Virginia Tech.
Which teams would most likely trade up to the #6 spot, assuming a quarterback is available there?
Colin: Miami is the most interested, but you would have to move to #16. At that point, either Huff or Williams is still likely to be there. Detroit, St. Louis and Baltimore are also rumored to be interested. The other option is force the Raiders to flip the 6-7 picks to ensure they get the quarterback.
What position would you address first in free agency if you were the 49ers?
Colin: If I was the 49ers I would be looking to add either a vet CB and or safety. That wouldn't stop them from going there in the draft too but it would be a start.
Is there any chance that defensive ends Manny Lawson of North Carolina St. or Kamerion Wimbley of Florida St. make it to the second round?
Colin: Right now, you look around the guru world and neither is in many first round mocks so I would think that one would be available. Plus everyone can't be taken in the first round so if those guys go, other players will be forced down.
Is it possible that Javon Walker would be traded? If so, do you think Nolan would consider it?
Colin: I doubt that Walker will be traded. That's a team without many playmakers left and he's one of the few. And if he is available, he'll likely cost a 2nd rounder, which I think is too much given his injury history.
This is one of the deepest classes at linebacker in years. Who would you think be a real diamond in the rough?
Colin: The diamonds in the rough, especially for 3-4 teams, will be a number of college defensive ends like Justin Parrish of Kent and Brent Hawkins of Illinois State who can really get after the quarterback.
If the 49ers are interested in drafting a cornerback on day 1, who would you see them looking at? Would Will Blackmon of Boston College be a reliable option in the 3rd round?
Colin: Blackmon, who is a very good athlete, would be a solid 3rd rounder. So would Demario Minter. There are a bunch of juniors who would be solid second rounders including Antonio Cromartie of FSU...if he's healthy, along with Charles Gordon from Kansas and Jackson from SC who is very very fast.
Do you feel that the 49ers are looking at Cromartie?
Colin: If he is healthy, Cromartie...who is fast AND has real nice size...would be the top cornerback in this year's draft. So yes, I would think that the 49ers are looking at him. Might not be 100% next year but could be very good down the road.
What are your thoughts on running back Maurice Drew of UCLA and where do you think he will be picked?
Colin: The 49ers might look at Drew in the 3rd. He's short but a very quick instinctive runner who plays bigger than his 5-8 height. The problem is, they have other holes that need to be fixed and with only so many picks, taking a guy like Drew would be more of a luxury.
You have running back DeAngelo Williams of Memphis going to us in your latest mock. Is that still a possibility?
Colin: At this time I would be shocked - shocked I say - if the 49ers took DeAngelo. They would have to pass on too many good players. The reason we did was that it was just after the Senior Bowl and the 49ers did spend an inordinate amount of time working one on one with Williams.
Is Vince Young's wonderlic score of 6 for real? If so, will this make teams shy away from picking him? Some say it was actually a score of 16. What happened here?
Colin: It's certainly a red flag and will have some teams backing off. Others like Oakland...I don't think it matters. Some teams believe that he did score a 6 for whatever reason and then redid the test. The people saying that 6 was wrong are his agent and Houston, who thought they saw any chance of trading the #1 pick vanish with that news.
What are your thoughts on safety Pat Watkins of Florida St? What round do you see him going?
Colin: Watkins is a nice player. He won't make a lot of highlight reel plays but has a good nose for the ball and will stick his nose in there. He is probably a mid to late 3rd rounder.
What round do you think fullback Garrett Mills of Tulsa will land? What are his prospects of being a fullback in the NFL? The 49ers will need a fullback to replace Beasley.
Colin: Mills couldn't block a tackling dummy at the Senior Bowl. He's a pure receiver who should go late second as an H-back. This is a poor year for fullbacks and it's unlikely any one at the position will be taken until at least late the fourth. Matt Bernstein of Wisconsin is rugged but slow while guys like David Kirtman of USC are dependable but small. Lawrence Vickers of Colorado may the best all-around fullback in the end.
Should the 49ers consider drafting Chad Jackson with the sixth pick? How far did Chad Jackson jump with that quick 40-yard time?
Colin: Goodness no. Despite the fast time, he's never been a big-play type in college. Although, that might be due in part to the type of offense they run at Florida. Jackson would be interesting at the top of round 2.
Special thanks goes to Colin Lindsay of Great Blue North Draft Report for taking the time out of his busy schedule to attend this chat session. Thanks to Bryan Hersh of 49ersparadise.com for managing the chat and keeping it organized.