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On Tuesday, April 25th, 49erswebzone.com and 49ersparadise.com held a second 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.
Will tight end Vernon Davis [Maryland] be taken before the 6th pick? Are the Jets interested or just blowing smoke? Do you see the 49ers trading down if both quarterbacks Vince Young [Texas] and Matt Leinart [USC] are available at pick #6?
Colin: Hard to imagine both will be available. In fact, my suspicion is that Green Bay will either take the quarterback that Tennessee passes on or will trade the 5th pick to someone who wants a quarterback. However, if Leinart or Young are there at #6, it would certainly make sense to at least flip the 6-7 picks with Oakland. That said, the 49ers are in great position with the 6th pick to either get a real impact, deal the pick or both.
Any chance safety Darnell Bing [USC] makes it to the Niners’ pick in the 3rd round?
Colin: Bing could fall because a lot of teams don't know if he is fast and agile enough to play the pass in the NFL.
How much does the combine and pro days really weigh in evaluating a college player? Doesn't their 20-30 weeks of game experience far outweigh how they perform at those tests? If not, why not?
Colin: What it tends to do is draw red flags (i.e. - if the guy has a medical problem or runs slower than expected). In the end, teams go back to the game tapes and that's where 90% of their decision is made.
Who will be the biggest impact player in the Niners’ draft that is not taken in the first round?
Colin: Boy, that's tough…but I would think some of the second-tier defensive tackles like Gabe Watson [Michigan] and Claude Wroten [LSU] might fit in that category.
Do you think defensive tackle Haloti Ngata [Oregon] slips a bit in the first round?
Colin: Yes...but not far. Right now, we see 11 guys with top 10 value and he ranks 11th in that group.
Do teams feel cornerback Antonio Cromartie [Florida State] is capable of being an elite corner? How high does he go?
Colin: With Cromartie, there are still some concerns about his knee. If healthy, he is a top 10 talent! I would not be shocked if he went as high as 11 to St. Louis, but late teens or early 20s may be more the case if there are any lingering doubts about the knee.
What are the chances Nolan moves up into the top 5 and who would he be targeting?
Colin: My guess slim to none. To get who? Mario Williams to get beaten up as a 3-4 defensive end? They will have a shot at a real impact player – [AJ] Hawk or [Vernon] Davis at least - right where they are.
Will tight end Vernon Davis be off the board by the time the 49ers pick? If he is there at #6, is he a lock since Alex Smith needs weapons?
Colin: He would be very tough to pass on and I suppose the 49ers could talk to the Jets about moving up to #4 to get Davis...but I just think the 49ers have way too many needs to be giving away picks to get one player.
Who will we take at 22? Is it realistic for 49ers fans to get excited about getting defensive end Manny Lawson [North Carolina State] at the #22 pick? If he is there, will he be successful in a 3-4. Among Wimbley, Carpenter, Greenway and Lawson, Carpenter will most likely be available. Who would be the best fit and who's most likely to be available at #22? Would the 49ers consider taking running back DeAngelo Williams [Memphis] at #22?
Colin: Manny Lawson would be a terrific fit at #22 and could very well be available there. Guys like Chad Greenway [Iowa] and Bobby Carpenter [Ohio State] are more traditional outside linebackers and if it were me, I'd be taking a cornerback there rather than Greenway or Carpenter. DeAngelo Williams would be an interesting pick there but a tight end and running back with two top picks really doesn't address much in the way of specific positional needs of which there are many.
What role do you see Kevan Barlow playing in 2006? Do you think we'll draft another running back?
Colin: Barlow can be a useful complement to Gore, and yes the 49ers could take a running back for depth, but I would guess in the later rounds where there is some depth.
What is the likelihood that the Niners pick 2 offensive players in the first round?
Colin: Pretty good. As someone mentioned they have to get some weapons for Smith to work with. However, the strength of the draft at #22 is going to cornerbacks and linebackers so... I think there is a real good chance. New England might look at Lawson but other teams have more pressing needs so he could very well be there at 22.
Who do you think is the "sleeper" in this draft that the Niners might be able to get in the late 3rd/early 4th?
Colin: How about Steve Williams [Northwest Missouri State]? A pretty good defensive lineman who would make a good 3-4 defensive end or 4-3 defensive tackle.
I know the 49ers have a need at almost every position, but what position in your opinion is in the greatest need to get in this draft? What positions do you think the Niners should wait until later rounds to pick?
Colin: The 49ers have a lot of holes, but defensive back seven - linebackers and cornerbacks who can run - would seem to be the very highest priority. After that it’s pass rush from the defensive line and outside linebacker spots.
Who are some of the prospects that we may see the Niners take in the 3rd round?
Colin: There are several good cornerbacks who should go there like Cedric Griffen [Texas] and DeMario Minter [Georgia]. We also like Julien Jenkins from Stanford as a 3-4 defensive end prospect.
Do you think the 49ers are willing to trade down from #6 to plug more holes, and still get "stars?"
Colin: For starters, if Young or Leinart are there then a flip with the Raiders would be in order...if they go a little farther as we said, its an 11 player draft. So as long as you stay in the top 11 you are guaranteed to get an impact player.
A lot of high potential defensive backs like Donte Whitner, Jason Allen, Antonio Cromartie and Tye Hill have been projected anywhere from mid-late 1st round, with most of them selected before the Niners. At #22, who are they looking at and have they brought in anyone other than Bing
Colin: Of that group I would think the guys the 49ers would be looking at would be Allen and Cromartie who could slip to them at 22 because of their past injuries.
Will cornerback Jimmy Williams [Virginia Tech]character cause him to fall out of the 1st round?
Colin: Probably not out of the first round, but perhaps into the latter part of the round. There is also the question of whether he is a true cornerback or a safety.
How is Kamerion Wimbley different from past FSU busts Wadsworth and Jamal Reynalds?
Colin: For starters, Wadsworth was hurt so its hard to tell with him...in the case of Reynolds, he was a down defensive end who wasn't very strong, at least strong enough to handle a 300-pound NFL offensive tackle. Wimbley is much more athletic and can play outside linebacker where he will be able to make a lot of plays in space coming off the edge.
What are your thoughts on UCLA running back Maurice Drew or linebacker Spencer Havner? Would either be an option for the 49ers?
Colin: With Drew, you would have to use your third round pick, which might be better used elsewhere. Spencer is a good all-around backer who would be a decent pick in the 5-6 rounds, but he lacks special athleticism.
It has been reported on Ohio local news that the 49ers have been one of A.J. Hawk’s top suitors. They say that the 49ers have continually been in contact with Hawk and the Buckeyes coaching staff. What are your thoughts on this?
Colin: If Davis goes to Green Bay at #5, then Hawk becomes the logical pick at #6 where he would certainly fill a huge need. However, the Packers need linebackers even more than the 49ers so he could go there too. As I said, the 49ers are in very good position to get a very good player.
Only a few years ago, we had the chance to pick up Vince Wilfolk, who eventually landed and started in New England. We got Woods and he didn't even play a snap last season. Our defensive tackles are decent, but don't have the raw potential Ngata has (even though Fields has great promise/size). How come he isn't really being considered?
Colin: Ngata would be a reach at #6. If the 49ers did drop back to 10-11 then he would be a great fit. There are concerns about Ngata in that he plays a little high at times but would be best suited to a 3-4 nose tackle where he wouldn't be asked to do much upfield.
Is there any chance the 49ers trade down if Young or Leinart are available at #6 to acquire more picks?
Colin: Absolutely. If one is there, expect there to be a frenzy of trade talk with everyone from Oakland at #7 to Baltimore at #13 and maybe even all the way down to Minnesota at #17
The 49ers need a KR/PR. Any ideas who that might be?
Colin: This is a good year for return guys including Devin Hester [Miami (FL)], Jeremy Bloom [Colorado] and Skyler Green [LSU] who can all also provide depth at wide receiver. Another guy to watch in later rounds or free agency is wide receiver Domenik Hixon of Akron.
Do you expect the team to take a quarterback in the later rounds of the draft?
Colin: Most teams do take a quarterback just for camp fodder and the 49ers may go that rout. However, they would appear to already have plenty of bodies at the position so maybe not.
Colin: Hey guys...best of luck on Saturday. We'll be watching the 49ers very carefully as they are one of the key teams in the opening round. Cheers.
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.