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On Wednesday, March 1st, 49erswebzone.com and 49ersparadise.com held a chat session with draft guru Drew Boylhart of TheHuddleReport.com. Attendees were able to ask Drew questions regarding the NFL Draft from a 49ers fan's perspective. Drew had some interesting takes on the NFL Draft. Below are some key points that Drew 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.
Have you heard any rumors or information about who the 49ers might get for their front office job?
Drew: No, we haven't heard any rumors -- no insight, unfortunately.
What is your opinion of how this whole contract extension fiasco will turn out? Will common sense prevail or will the NFL as we know and love it be forever changed? How does the CBA (lack of) affect the free agency period?
Drew: I think the stalemate will end very shortly. Unfortunately, it's a wait and see for everyone at this point.
Which is a tougher college to pro transition? Tight end or wide receiver?
Drew: Tight end is a much more difficult position to translate to the pro's because of the size of the people they have to block.
Who might be interested in trading up to #6?
Drew: Teams that are interested in trading up to #6 might be Buffalo for d-line, Arizona to get Jay Cutler (QB - Vanderbilt) or Miami to get Cutler.
What are the trade down options?
Drew: Trade down options are good for the 49ers on the 1st day of the draft because they're picking early in each round. Would be smart for them to trade down in the 2nd round rather than the 1st and pick up multiple picks later.
Vernon Davis of Maryland is extremely athletic, where is he as a tight end at this stage of development?
Drew: I expect Vernon Davis to be an outstanding tight end at the pro level. He's very complete coming out of college.
Can Vernon Davis be an NFL wide receiver?
Drew: He's got the speed to be a wide receiver, but I'm not convinced that Davis has the hands or the ability to run routes as a wide receiver. He's a match-up nightmare at TE. I don't know why you would use him at wide receiver.
Will linebacker Bobby Carpenter of Ohio St. be around in the 2nd?
Drew: If Bobby Carpenter hasn't completely healed, then yes. However, if he works out well in his pro day, he'll probably be taken late in the first round.
If you look at 1st round picks over the years by position, which tend to pan out and which are more hit and miss?
Drew: D-line, linebackers and cornerbacks tend to pan out. The offensive side of the ball has more difficulty in general. When taken high, tight ends are about 50/50.
With defensive end Manny Lawson's (North Carolina St.) 40 times, will he be around at the beginning of the 2nd round? Would he fit better for the 49ers than any other linebacker since he is what they call a "tweener" and his ability to get at the football?
Drew: Manny Lawson would be a good fit for the 49ers. There's a chance he'll still be available early in the 2nd round. Lawson, in my opinion, is not a tweener. A tweener is a player who doesn't really have a position and Lawson will be a very good football player.
What wide receivers do you see being available in the 2nd round? Are any of them in the 49ers cards?
Drew: Jason Avant (Michigan), Jovon Bouknight (Wyoming) and Mike Hass (Oregon State). Also, Ed Hinkle (Iowa) -- all of these should fit WCO offense very nicely from 2nd and 3rd rounds.
Where do you see defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (Florida St.) going?
Drew: I see Brodrick going anywhere from as early as the 13th pick. He shouldn't fall past 22.
If the 49ers were indeed targeting Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams, how far could they reasonably trade down in the 1st round and still be able to get him?
Drew: Williams...it's a funny thing with him. He could go right away or he could go into the 20's. If they want DeAngelo, they should take him at 6 because I don't think he'll fall much further.
What is your opinion of Huff? Might the 49ers take him at #6? Is Huff better suited to play free safety or cornerback in the NFL?
Drew: Huff is a top 10 pick in the draft. You could pick him at #6. He could play corner or safety. I like him at safety because of his leadership skills.
Can Thomas Howard (U.T.E.P.) play outside linebacker in the 3-4? And what round does he go?
Drew: Howard can play outside linebacker in the 3-4. He'll probably go in the 2nd or 3rd round.
Where does Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk best fit in the 3-4 defense? Considering the 49ers pick 6th and both A.J. Hawk and North Carolina St. defensive end Mario Williams are available, which one do you think would be the best pick for the 3-4 defense of the 49ers?
Drew: Both of them would be excellent picks. A.J. would be better on the inside in a 3-4 because of his leadership skills. Williams, however, has unique talent that could be used in a 3-4 or a 4-3. If you need leadership, take Hawk.
I hear the Texans really love Mario Williams. How will that effect the draft if the take him?
Drew: Big-time. It would be a surprise pick...really. It would throw the draft into turmoil. Stranger things have happened.
After a good performance in the Senior bowl and combine, how high does Clemson cornerback Tye Hill go?
Drew: Tye Hill could go as high as 13.
What round do you see Cal Poly defensive end Chris Gocong going?
Drew: Chris Gocong should go in the 3rd round. He reminds me of Teddy Bruschi of the Patriots.
Will we take an offensive lineman in the draft? If so, when and what position?
Drew: I would imagine the 49ers would look for any position on the o-line. Probably on the 1st day of the draft.
Does Florida St. cornerback Antonio Cromartie's lack of starting experience and injury history cause him to possibly slip to mid 2nd round?
Drew: So far at the combine, Cromartie has shown that he's recovered nicely from the injury. I think he'll be taken in the latter part of the 1st round, but it's early and anything could happen.
Can Alabama defensive end Mark Anderson play outside linebacker in the 3-4? Could NC State defensive tackle John McCargo transition to a 3-4 defensive end?
Drew: John McCargo is a 4-3 DT...so no...he's pure at that position. Mark Anderson...he has linebacker talent and can play in a 3-4.
How much does the combine really matter when ranking the prospects?
Drew: There are always some surprises that the combine brings to the forefront. You should have most of your rankings set up before you go to the combine. The combine helps to affirm or discredit your original opinions.
Who will make a good 3-4 defensive end in the middle rounds?
Drew: Kyle Williams (LSU) would be a noseguard or defensive end in the 3-4. Jonathan Lewis (VA Tech) could play either position. Claude Wroten (LSU) could also play either position on the line.
Could Ohio State defensive end Mike Kudla translate to linebacker?
Drew: Yes. Kudla could translate easily to linebacker. He's an animal. He could play defensive end or outside linebacker.
What do you think of Maryland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson? Could he be a good choice for the 49ers in the 2nd round?
Drew: I personally think D'Qwell is a 1st round linebacker. But with all the good linebackers in this draft, he may fall to your pick in the 2nd round. He should be an outstanding football player.
With UCLA tight end Marcedes Lewis' 4.79 40 time, is he still considered 1 of the best tight ends coming out in 2006?
Drew: Yes. Marcedes is a very good pass-catching tight end. Time might drop him a little bit, but he was expected to run that time, so it's not a surprise.
What wide receiver is ready to be an immediate impact on an NFL team?
Drew: Santonio Holmes (Ohio St), Brandon Marshall (Central Florida), Jason Avant (Michigan) and Senorice Moss (Miami). Chad Jackson (Florida) is also strong.
Is Florida St. cornerback Antonio Cromartie still a first round corner after the combine?
Drew: Antonio is slowly but surely working his way back into the 1st round.
What are your thoughts on Florida St. defensive end Kamerion Wimbley?
Drew: He would be a good pick for the 49ers who have a 3-4 defense. He's coming off a knee injury and in my opinion, he's still struggling mentally -- not physically -- from the injury. But, he should develop well in the 3-4.
Suppose you were the GM of the 49ers. Considering the obvious offensive and defensive needs...which player available would be the best pick at the #6 slot (keeping in mind that Bush goes #1 and then the quarterbacks get picked).
Drew: If Bush and the quarterbacks get taken, then if I were the 49ers, I would pick Mario Williams, defensive end from NC State because pass rush is everything in the NFL.
Special thanks goes to Drew Boylhart of TheHuddleReport.com 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.