Lynch speculated in the article that the 49ers could trade up for bradford in order to 'sell' a stadium to the fans. I don't see any way the 49ers trade up for Bradford, since the Rams are a division rival, but I do see the posibility of the 49ers trading up for Clausen if he slips to #5.
Last year, the Browns traded the #5 pick for the #17 pick and the #52...the Jets took Sanchez w/ the pick. It is entirely possible that the 49ers do the same thing.
I think Clausen will be a better QB than Bradford (Bradford busted his should the first time he was sacked in college, and he played in a pro-style offense). Clausen had to get beaten up, scramble, and find WRs downfield and played in a pro-style offense.
Now, that is not an argument to acquire Clausen. Drafting Clausen would totally destroy Smith's confidence and they might as well cut him -- we're better off taking a right tackle and a DB or pass-rusher. But if ownership is going to get a QB to sell a stadium deal, I'd rather have them trade away a #2 for Clausen than TWO #1s and a 1st or 2nd rounder in 2011.
I think Smith is going to develop into a top-10 QB (Top 5 in good years) on a team loaded with talent...not unlike Phil Simms. Simms was also a Top pick who suffered major injuries and was almost booed out of New York. But as the team got better, he learned his role. He had a career QB rating of 78.5, but had a few 3,500+/20TD+ seasons in a VERY conservative offense.
That's what we'll have with Smith: an 85 - 90 QB rating type of guy; 3,200 - 3,600 yards, ~25 TDs...with the occasional 4,000-yd/30 TD season.
Surrounded with the right people, we will be very good.