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Chat Transcript: Draft Roundtable with Matt Maiocco, Matt Barrows, Kevin Lynch and Dan Brown

Apr 19, 2010 at 9:29 PM5

The following is the transcript from the live fan chat roundtable between the fans of the two sites, and, and 49ers beat writers Matt Maiocco, Matt Barrows, Kevin Lynch and Dan Brown.

You can visit their blogs at the following URLs:

The chats were moderated by Bryan-Admin of

Bryan-Admin: Ok Folks... thank you all for bearing with us to get some of the technical stuff sorted out... We have a very rare opportunity here to see how 4 of the top 49ers writers, and for that matter "legends" interact with each other. I know you have all been looking forward to this... so without further waiting ...

Bryan-Admin: We'd like to welcome Matt B, Matt M, and Dan B. We are anticipating Kevin L joining us shortly. Thank you all for being here ... it's a great pleasure! Both the fans of and as well as those that frequent your blogs really appreciate it!

Dan Brown: The feeling is mutual.

MattB_46: Glad to be here. Thanks for inviting.

Bryan-Admin: In the past we would forward the questions directly from the fans to you, given repeated topics, we will instead forward a topic for you each to respond to based on the fans input. Fans, please feel free to send topics and questions are way... And here we go!

Matt Maiocco: Nobody told me Bee-Rows was going to be here, too. Oh, well...

Bryan-Admin: The hot topic this offseason is Offensive Line. You've all written about... but where do we stand right now, and what do you think the 9ers might do in the first two rounds of the draft with respect to the OL?

Dan Brown: Rarely are draft-day needs this obvious. The 49ers need a right tackle, right now. I think they have to grab one, pronto, especially if they catch a break and land one of top three. Baalke told us the other day that, historically, there are plenty of tackles deep in the draft. But an overwhelming number of Pro Bowl tackles come from the first round.

Matt Maiocco: It hinges on what happens in front of them. I think they'd like to get Anthony Davis in the first round. If there are four tackles off the board, certainly, they can go with Mike Iupati at 17. But I think they might wait until the second round to get a right tackle.

MattB_46: It's looking more likely that the top four OTs will be gone when they pick. Do they take G Mike Iupati and hope that he can play right tackle? The 49ers hosted him in Santa Clara last week. ... They also could take USC T Charles Brown at pick No. 17 or perhaps trade down for Rodger Saffold.

Matt Maiocco: To play off what Bee-Rows said, if they can find a trade partner at 17, they can move back and get a Saffold, Ducasse, Campbell or Brown.

Bryan-Admin: So we have 3 great opinions there... The obvious follow up then... The first round is hot. Do we trade up for RT - and pay big, or do we wait for round 2? Given that LT is a hotter commoedity

Dan Brown: I happen to think Anthony Davis will still be there, maybe even at 17. I'd pull the trigger and hope that MIke Singletary's tough-love approach works as well as it did on another question-mark guy named Davis.

Matt Maiocco: If they needed a left tackle, they could trade up and maybe pay $15 million more guaranteed to get one of those guys. But because they're seeking a right tackle, I think they can hold steady or move back.

MattB_46: I don't think they will give up draft picks in what is considered a strong draft to trade up, but i won't say it's off the table ... One guy to look out for in Round 2 is Ole Miss's John Jerry. He's a mauler -- just what Singletary wants, and he looked good at RT in Mobile ...

Bryan-Admin: So on that note... do you feel the team will consider trading down and accumulating picks?

Matt Maiocco: Yes.

Bryan-Admin: Any of you disagree?

Dan Brown: Not me.

MattB_46: Again, I think there will be a lot of teams hoping to trade down and accumulate more picks. Which means there probably won't be an opportunity to do so ...

Bryan-Admin: This is considered one of the deepest drafts in years. Any sleepers that catch your eyes?

MattB_46: Brandon Spikes -- he might be available in the 4th round. He'd give the D a certain nastiness and could be the heir to his cousin's position.

Dan Brown: As for Spikes, Takeo has already put in a big plug for him. (Of course, Takeo also put in a plug for CJ Spiller.)

Matt Maiocco: I mentioned CB Patrick Robinson a week or so ago. I'm not sure he's a "sleeper," but I think he's vastly underrated -- mostly because of his severe speech impediment.

Dan Brown: I also kind of like TCU linebacker Daryl Washington. He only has one year as a starter but I think his stock is on the rise.

Bryan-Admin: On the topic of sleepers, and speech impediments... what is most damming?
Work ethic issues?
Police issues?
Learning disability?
Poor Combine?

Matt Maiocco: Work ethic -- definitely work ethic.

MattB_46: Police issues. Singletary can "cure" work ethic problems. Look at Ahmad Brooks ...

Bryan-Admin: Fight it out :)

MattB_46: Nutcracker?

Bryan-Admin: We welcome Kevin Lynch. Kevin please feel free to jump in any time

Dan Brown: I'd actually say police issues. Work ethic is indeed a trouble spot, but, like Barrows just said (faster than me) Singletary can motivate a statue to play hard.

MattB_46: Welcome, Lynchy!!

Bryan-Admin: I think we fans would love to see a Matt vs Matt nutcracker drill

kevinl_46: thanks, sorry for the delay

Matt Maiocco: Brooks played six games at the end of last season. That's a bit early to declare he's been cured of anything.

kevinl_46: Hello everybody.

Dan Brown: Hey, lynchy.

Bryan-Admin: How do you all feel about Nate Davis and his development?

Matt Maiocco: Welcome to the fun, Lynchy. Is it true you were detained at the Mexico City airport?

kevinl_46: I see Maiocco is already taking on all comers

Bryan-Admin: Would the 49ers cut Davis in favor of? Jimmy Clausen?

kevinl_46: Yes, it's true!

MattB_46: I think they'd reduce his workload this summer and try to hide Davis on the p-squad ...

Dan Brown: I think Davis quietly made a very strong impression last season. The team was smart enough not to throw too much out of him too early. But anyone who saw him in the preseason can recognize the talent there. He's a keeper.

kevinl_46: I would certainly hope not. But I think there's growing questions about his ability to learn a NFL playbook. I don't like Clausen

Matt Maiocco: I don't think there have been any surprises with Nate Davis. They don't have to get him ready to play now. Depending on how his exhibition season goes, the 49ers might be able to cut him and bring him back to the practice squad.

Bryan-Admin: Do you think his spatial capacity may help him through the playbook issues?

kevinl_46: I don't think it helps him.

MattB_46: He seemed to pick it up just fine for last year's preseason ...

Matt Maiocco: He worked with just a fraction of the playbook during the exhibition season last year.

Bryan-Admin: Moving forward...
Does the 49ers recent trade (Ted Ginn) eliminate Spiller from consideration? There are concerns on his ability to field punts.

kevinl_46: He did, but I know they really pared things down for him at Ball State. How much can you do that in the NFL?

Matt Maiocco: I don't see why it would change anything. If they liked Spiller before, they're going to like him now. You don't draft a guy in the first round just on his return ability.

49ers fans ... who would win in a nutcracker? Matt M or Matt B?
Matt M (52%)
Matt B (48%)

MattB_46: I think the Dolphins eliminated punts from Ginn's repertoire because they didn't want a starting receiver in that role. it sounded like he wants to resume that for the 49ers ...

Dan Brown: My friends with the Dolphins say Ginn is pretty shaky on punts. But they also say he's one of the fastest people they've ever seen on kickoffs.

Matt Maiocco: I just voted for Matt B winning the nutcracker. I think he would have the advantage because of all those ballet lessons his mom made him take.

kevinl_46: I don't know if a speedback/ slot receiver is on their radar early in the draft.

MattB_46: Those lessons really strengthened my calves ...

Dan Brown: I voted for Barrows, too, because he least has directions to the gym.

Bryan-Admin: On the idea of receiver, are the 49ers really happy with Morgan as a number 2?

kevinl_46: They seem to be, but that's a mistake. They should be looking to strengthen that position. Although Morgan is on the rise.

MattB_46: He's the best downfield blocker on the team. I think they'd like to see him rise up and be more consistent. he's still learning the position.

More Nutcracker: Lynch vs Brown
Lynch (53%)
Brown (47%)

[b]Matt Maiocco:
Yes, I think they're very happy. He has really improved as a route-runner and pass-catcher. He's a very good blocker. And he understands the system well enough that he helped Crabtree after he finally signed the deal.

MattB_46: Man, I didn't know who to take in the Lynchy-Brown duel.

Bryan-Admin: At receiver, who is the weakest link?

kevinl_46: Brown would be dirty

Dan Brown: He was a bit of a disappointment. Just 527 yards, and that was with Crabtree gone for the first quarter of the season. There's more there and he seems to like the idea of establishing a nice duo with Crabrtree.

kevinl_46: I worry about Ginn and his committment. Jerry Sullivan, the receivers coach wants committed guys.

MattB_46: Ginn. He has a case of the dropsies and I-don't-wanna-get-hitsies ...

Bryan-Admin: What about tight end. Will the 49ers look to provide some back up for Davis? Will Davis ever learn to catch?

Dan Brown: Technically, there's still a locker for Isaac Bruce. I predict he has a very quiet year.

Matt Maiocco: Weakest link? Hmmmm. Well, there passing game has to be good enough to get the No. 3 wideout involved.

Bryan-Admin: lol @ Brown

Matt Maiocco: Harsh. Didn't Vernon Davis catch 78 passes last season?

Bryan-Admin: And drop 87? well... not quite.

kevinl_46: Delanie Walker is a tremendous backup, and I think they will still use a lot of two tights with both of them spread out.

MattB_46: I think a third tight end will be on the draft docket. but he'll be an excellent blocker ... like Bear Pascoe ...

Dan Brown: Davis' hands are WAY better than I thought they'd be. Those first few seasons were rough. But give the guy credit: He stays after practice a LOT and catches balls out of a Jugs machine. He put in the work.

Bryan-Admin: So if the 49ers field Morgan, Crabtree, Davis, Walker and Gore... is there a need for another offensive playmaker?

Matt Maiocco: If Bear Pascoe were an excellent blocker, he'd still be on the team. The 49ers' coaches were quite disappointed in him.

MattB_46: Yeah, i was being sarcastic ...

kevinl_46: I don't think he'll ever be Jerry Rice in the hands department, but he had a high catch rate.

Bryan-Admin: (Folks these guys are definitely not holding punches)

Matt Maiocco: I don't think there's another "need" for an offensive player. But there is a "need" to get more consistent play from the QB position.

Who should QB the 49ers?
Brown (3%)
Lynch (11%)
Maiocco (45%)
Barrows? (41%)

kevinl_46: I think there's always room for a playmaker, particularly a fast slot guy like a Dexter McCluster.

MattB_46: I think the team could stand to have another back who can run outside the tackles ...

Matt Maiocco: Sorry, Bee-Rows.

Bryan-Admin: How about fullback? Are the 49ers happy there?

MattB_46: Keep an eye on Brit Miller at fullback ...

Dan Brown: Moran Norris hasn't been the same guy since he paved the way for Gore's big year in 2006. I think they could use an upgrade.

kevinl_46: I like to see them draft Barrows's guy from Virginia. He's got more receiving and receiving ability than Norris

Matt Maiocco: For this offense, I don't think it's all that necessary. Maybe a late-round pick, but nothing more than that.

Bryan-Admin: Let's shift focus to the defensive side of the ball. Up front, is it NT or a pass rusher that is the bigger need?

Dan Brown: One more fullback thing: Jimmy Raye DOES like having a versatile hard-nosed FB. He made good use of Tony Richardson back in the day ...

kevinl_46: Pass rusher. They have a good nose and you always need pass rushers. The 49ers need all the help they can get with the pass defense.

MattB_46: You can never have enough pass rushers, but a nos etackle is critical because he protects Patrick Willis.

Matt Maiocco: Richardson had one season in which he touched the ball. The rest of his career he was nothing but a blocker.

Dan Brown: But a useful blocker, smart guy.

Bryan-Admin: Is Franklin a long term solution at NT?

kevinl_46: Absolutely. The players think he's one of the best in the league.

Dan Brown: They better hope so, because Kentwan Balmer doesn't look ready to take over the job anytime soon.

MattB_46: He should be. But the Niners have so many guys that are due for extensions that not everyone can be taken care of ...

Bryan-Admin: Willis, Davis, Franklin ... who are the 49ers going to re-sign?

Matt Maiocco: He might price himself off the team -- or at least into free agency this season. He's making $7M. They have to find someone to take some snaps from him. They're trying Ricky Jean-Francois this offseason.

kevinl_46: They should take care of him because noses are hard to find.

Bryan-Admin: Jean-Francois has a pretty mean streak himself. Exactly what you need at NT

Matt Maiocco: Definitely, Willis (assuming his remains healthy).

MattB_46: Willis, Davis, Franklin -- in that order. But there's also Goldson, Smith, Lawson, Bass, etc. to think about

MattB_46: Baas ... Sorry, David.

kevinl_46: I would go Willis, Franklin, Davis

Matt Maiocco: ...and don't forget about Morgan.

Bryan-Admin: So if there's no Salary Cap... is that a good thing with a team like this? And perhaps the bigger question... all that talent and we are only an 8-8 team...

kevinl_46: I'm not so sure the team is riddled with talent.

MattB_46: They'll have an internal cap for sure ...

Matt Maiocco: It's a bad thing. They're a low-revenue team and there's no floor on salaries.

kevinl_46: The

Dan Brown: But that new stadium is coming, so ...

kevinl_46: they have also managed the cap well, so if they want to keep most of those players, they could

MattB_46: Oh, Dan ...

Bryan-Admin: Do the 49ers have reasonable insurance for injuries at linebacker? They got hit hard last season... and already enter the season down an Ulbrich

kevinl_46: That's what the third day of the draft is for

MattB_46: They need to bring in someone who can play Ted in the future ... McKillop is more "Mike" than "ted."

kevinl_46: I agree with Barrows.

Matt Maiocco: But they're up a Wilhelm, and that's pretty much the same thing. I think they need another inside guy and another OLB/DE.

Dan Brown: No agreeing allowed.

kevinl_46: I mean Barrows is all wet!

Matt Maiocco: I agree with Dan on the no-ageeing thing.

Bryan-Admin: We told you folks... this is a unique opportunity into the private lives of 4 incredible men

Bryan-Admin: How about at safety. The team hasn't quite made up for the loss of Tony Parish. Where does Michael Lewis truly stand? Isn't Goldson a bit over rated?

MattB_46: Lewis seems determined to prove that last year's injuries are a fluke. To me, he's the most underrated guy on the team.

Dan Brown: Goldson is a bit overrrated, but not his skills -- if that makes any sense. He's still out of position at times and overagressive at others. But he's a hard hitter with a lot of range, so with a little more discipline he'll be first-rate.

kevinl_46: I think Goldson could be on the verge of a pro bowl, but the league passing more, they might need a cover SS in the future.

Bryan-Admin: So the quick run down:
2nd round:
You are the 49ers GM (and heck, you almost could be) what is your dream scenario, what is your "ok" scenario.

Bryan-Admin: Sorry was a bit quick on that one... feel free to play the safety game a bit more if you like

kevinl_46: 13: Barrows
17: Brown

Bryan-Admin: for GM and OC respectively.

Matt Maiocco: Dream is ... Haden, A.Davis and Koa Misi (giving my Santa Rosa guy some love).

MattB_46: Dream: Anthony Davis, C.J Spiller, John Jerry

Ok: Haden, Iupati, best safety available

Dan Brown: I go Joe Haden, Anthony Davis and ...

Bryan-Admin: Lynch are you sticking to your beat rivals here? or do you weight in?

kevinl_46: One of the three tackles other than Davis and then Haden

MattB_46: Why do you hate Davis, Lynchy?

Matt Maiocco: What a hater...

MattB_46: What'd he do to you?

kevinl_46: I don't think he likes the game enough. He has Jonas Jennings with a weight issue written all over him.

Dan Brown: Say no more!

Who is the 49ers bigger flop
Gabe Wilkins (52%)
Jonas Jennings (48%)

MattB_46: Wow! The biggest insult ever. You just inspired him to be a Pro Bowler

Bryan-Admin: We've covered nearly every position on the field... That leaves 2 of the biggest question marks. Balke and Raye. The two biggest question marks? What are your impressions of each

MattB_46: Really hard to get a read on Baalke after only two meetings. ... As for Raye, he needs to be more ambitious this season. No more 1 1/2 yards and a cloud of dust ...

Matt Maiocco: Baalke seems to be competent. The question remains if he's going to stand firm when half the room wants him to do something he's not convinced is the right move.

Dan Brown: I'm a Raye skeptic, which is to say I'm not alone. There were lots of problems last year, including questions at QB and the Crabtree situation. But look at Raye's resume as OC and it's tough to find anything to really jump up and down about.

kevinl_46: I don't know enough about Baalke to make a decision. He works hard and I think how a player looks on film is his top priority, which is good.

Matt Maiocco: Raye needs figure out what the offense needs to be and not fluctuate 180-degrees on a week-to-week basis.

kevinl_46: I have a bias, because I really think passing is the way to go now, and it seems they want to get back to the run, which is what Raye likes to do.

MattB_46: I fear Raye and Singletary are stuck in the 1980s ....

kevinl_46: Then they should run the West Coast O

Matt Maiocco: Ah, yes, when newspapers were thriving ...

MattB_46: That wouldn't be such a bad thing, huh? Paulina Poirizkova ...

Bryan-Admin: Should the 49ers have gone after Holmgren or Shanny this offseason?

Matt Maiocco: Kevin brings up a point that Steve Young (to name drop) told me a while back. The 49ers have archives of installation film from Walsh, Holmgren, Shanahan that is useless because they don't run the W.C. Offense.

kevinl_46: Hey no agreeing

Bryan-Admin: Archives that are priceless in the right hands!

kevinl_46: I think WCO is still very viable all the successful NFC offenses run it.

MattB_46: Hard to run a WC when all of your players have been drafted for smash-mouth ...

Bryan-Admin: I'm not convinced of that Matt ... Walsh always favored hitting first and hitting hard

Matt Maiocco: And to run a WCO, you need a coach who knows it and never changes it regardless of the coordinator.

kevinl_46: They have big receivers and a back who catches, they could do it.

MattB_46: CJ Spiller????

kevinl_46: You betcha

MattB_46: Heart be stiller

Bryan-Admin: That's one of the tough parts about defensive coaches... it's hard to find an OC who never wants to be a HC

Dan Brown: Like Norv Turner, for example.

Bryan-Admin: Norv was just OK though imo even as an OC...then again... he had little to work with

kevinl_46: Good point by Byran, you should take Matt's job.

Matt Maiocco: That's why the 49ers had visions of hiring an offensive-minded coach to replace Nolan. Then, Singletary had to go and win some games and give the 49ers no other choice.

MattB_46: Who's Byran?

Bryan-Admin: (I'll do it!!! )

Bryan-Admin: Matt M, Matt B, Dan and Kevin,
We really want to thank you for all that you do for us fans, and the team. Your work is tireless. We especially want to thank you all for being here today. The questions were roaring in, but the one thing that kept on coming up, was a special thanks to each of you. We know this is your 'personal' time, so thank you ... and thank you families too. We are very fortunate to have beat reports like you covering our favorite team. We look forward to reading more from each of your blogs, and following the draft with you.

49ers fans do you want to thank our guests?
Yes (85%)
No (15%)
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • bmoneyt
    My favorite comment: MattB_46: You can never have enough pass rushers, but a nos etackle is critical because he protects Patrick Willis. That was classic.
    Apr 20, 2010 at 9:30 PM
  • Frank
    Enjoyed the insights and attempts at humor (LOL)...I'm leery of Clausen, too. I like his game, but I'd hate to see Nate sacrificed in the process, because he seems to have more natural ability than any of the QB's. I'll have to admit, I was one of those who was clamoring for Shanahan because of his offensive mindset. But, we have Singletary...and have to hope he achieves his goal of improving the OL. If he does that, I believe we have enough playmakers to elevate the offense to at least middle-of-the-pack. We do need a couple more pieces to get the defense in the top 10. One position not mentioned really was LDE...we need a bookend for Justin Smith. None of the trio of Sopoaga, Evans or Balmer have really done much...I'd love to see us get Alualu from Cal...ready-made 3-4 DE. Rolle or Robert Johnson would provide necessary S depth. If we don't get Haden, Kareem Jackson would work. I'm also a bit leery WRT Franklin...he hasn't signed his franchise tag contract...makes me wonder if we shouldn't grab Dan Williams if he falls to us.
    Apr 20, 2010 at 2:24 PM
  • petaluman
    Actually, MB mentions putting Davis on the PS first, and KL also expressed some reservations about whether he can ever master the playbook. All of these guys are beat writers, and I believe they're far more objective in their writing than the new breed of sports columnists - and most of us fans. I don't think they'll PS Davis, unless they bring in someone who passes him on the depth chart. He's had a year to establish his role as 3rd stringer. If they draft a QB, it most likely means that they lack confidence in Nate.
    Apr 20, 2010 at 10:52 AM
  • Ninerdawg
    Oops I had some typos, I meant to say the real "reason", and I also misspelled Clausen, sometimes I think faster than I type!
    Apr 20, 2010 at 9:22 AM
  • Ninerdawg
    This was a good transcript, and thanks for sharing it with us fans guys. In regards to Nate Davis, how come Matt Maiocco thinks the 49ers would put him on the practice squad? Nate Davis has shown more instincts in the pre-season last year than A. Smith has shown during his entire career. I mean does M.M. think Davis would last on the P.S.? Are you serious?? I dont understand why Maiocco cannot see the talent this guy has. I'm starting to wonder what the real is he doesnt like this guy. Could it be bc Matt knows its just a matter of time before he unseats Alex Smith? Everytime you read an article he downplays Nate Davis' talent, when he clearly is better than Alex Smith. It would be just stupid to draft Jimmy Calusen so high, when Nate is light years better than this guy. Matt Maiocco is a beat writer, he is not an expert on learning disabilities, nor would he have any idea, on how it translates to football, so stop hating on this guy, bc he is better than your "Golden Boy"!!
    Apr 20, 2010 at 9:00 AM

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