Around the NFC West: Singletary's draft

April, 23, 2010
4/23/10
10:36
AM ET
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers haven't committed to naming first-round picks Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati as starters on opening day. Barrows: "(Coach Mike) Singletary said that Davis and Iupati were two of the most physical offensive linemen in the draft. He said there was one other offensive lineman -- Oklahoma's Trent Williams -- they had in the same category."

Also from Barrows: Acting general manager Trent Baalke says the 49ers traded up two spots in the first round because they were afraid someone else would jump ahead of them to draft Anthony Davis. The price was a fourth-round pick. Barrows: "The biggest knock on Davis entering the draft was his commitment to the game. As a freshman, he arrived at Rutgers weighing 363 pounds -- far heavier than what the Scarlet Knights' coaches were expecting. He was suspended for a game in 2008 for violating team rules, and he also was benched for a quarter the following season for undisclosed reasons."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat expects Baalke to continue in his current role after the draft. Maiocco: "He made a decisive move to trade up two spots to secure the services of tackle Anthony Davis. It was a questionable strategy, considering the 49ers surrendered a fourth-round pick to jump over a couple teams that did not have any needs at offensive tackle. But Baalke did not want to take any chances of losing out on Davis to a team trading up. Baalke said he'd do the same thing '100 out of 100 times.' " It still seemed unnecessary and impatient, but we'll never know for sure. And if Davis becomes an outstanding player, no one will care.

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers' moves in the first round broke from tradition. Maiocco: "Since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger, the 49ers had not previously chosen an offensive tackle within the top 20 picks, and they've never gone with a guard in the top 30."

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says it's clear Singletary is running the draft, and that was a good thing Thursday night, in his view.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News quotes Singletary as saying the 49ers put "very little" thought into drafting a quarterback in the first round.

Also from Kawakami: Singletary reveled in the 49ers getting bigger and more physical through this draft.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says first-round choice Dan Williams was the 11th-rated player on the Cardinals' draft board. Was this the full board or the separate 120-player board? Coach Ken Whisenhunt: "You start to let your mind think, 'OK, we're going to have a chance to get this player,' and you start to worry. You know how superstitious I am, you don't want to think about it because you might jinx it."

The Arizona Republic runs a photo showing the Cardinals' new alternate uniform, to be worn occasionally: "NFL teams can wear the alternate uniform as many as three times per season -- once in the preseason and twice in the regular season (not permitted in the postseason). It has not yet been determined how many times or in which games the Cardinals will wear their alternate uniforms."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says defensive end Darnell Dockett was excited when the team drafted Williams. Dockett via Twitter: "IT'S A CELEBRATION. NOW I GOT TO TRAIN THE DOG and we shall GO BITE!"

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are open to trading the 33rd pick of the draft. General manager Billy Devaney on the time between first and second rounds: "It does at least give us more time to weigh options if we do get calls, which is kind of neat. And hopefully there might be a team that thinks that's their last chance to get a certain position ... so maybe they'd be willing to move up."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams No. 1 draft choice Sam Bradford felt all the way back from a shoulder injury during a workout for the team in Florida a couple weeks ago. Bradford: "We were down in Pensacola (Fla.) throwing, and it was just one of those workouts where I was accurate. My ball, it was coming out quick. My arm strength felt good."

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Bradford offers a new beginning for the Rams. Miklasz: "The Rams must be aggressive in doing everything they can to find Bradford an elite wide receiver and a good-hands tight end. The Rams' offensive line is better than most people assume, but still requires sprucing. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and staff will have to prove they know what they are doing. And that they can find the right balance by handling this gift with care — but without being overly protective. Already there are questions about how soon Bradford will start."

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says it's important to be patient with Bradford.

Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat offers options for the Rams in the second round. Balzer: "The end of the first round left numerous talented players available. It appears the Rams’ most likely choices would be a defensive end or wide receiver. They could choose between receivers Golden Tate, Arrelious Benn and Damian Williams, or defensive ends Sergio Kindle or Everson Griffen. However, Kindle has off-field issues, which could be why he lasted through the first round. Griffen also has maturity questions."

Jim Rodenbush for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat quotes Devaney this way on Bradford: "There’s going to be a learning curve. But at the end of the day, that’s going to be one of his assets. He’s extremely intelligent. The more work he gets here, and he gets exposed to that, that’s going to be one of the real pluses about Bradford. He’s going to be great at that part of the game."

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times offers approval for the Seahawks' new leadership -- coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider -- after the team drafted Russell Okung and Earl Thomas in the first round. Kelley: "In the postdraft news conference Carroll and Schneider were almost giddy, teasing each other about their bowling night with Okung and kidding about the camera in the Hawks' war room that caught Schneider flexing his muscles at the end of the day. But he deserved a few flexes. Schneider made the right calls. He found two starters to help fill his skinny roster."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times was surprised Okung was available for Seattle. O'Neil: "The biggest surprise about Okung's selection was the fact he was available. For months he was considered the top offensive lineman available, and he was one of two offensive tackles Seattle would have been willing to pick No. 6 overall. The other, Trent Williams of Oklahoma, was drafted No. 4 by Washington. When Kansas City chose safety Eric Berry with the fifth pick, it cleared the way for Seattle to take Okung."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks filled two major needs.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks know they didn't land a professional bowler in Okung, but they hope they've gotten a future Pro Bowler. Okung: "I come from very humble beginnings. You learn how to be a hard worker, and be somebody who has a lot of drive, who is self-motivated."

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