On the Clock: San Francisco 49ers
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Team needs: Offensive tackle, outside linebacker, receiver, defensive back
|Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images|
|If Michael Crabtree is available at No. 10, the 49ers will give him serious consideration.|
Dream scenario: The 49ers will be watching to see which players slip unexpectedly at the top of the round. Lucking into Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree would have to stand as a dream scenario for the 49ers. They did pick up Brandon Jones from the Titans in free agency and Isaac Bruce has said he'll return for another season, but the 49ers haven't had a Pro Bowl-caliber wideout in his prime since Terrell Owens left. Crabtree would make it harder for opposing defenses to load up against the running game. The 49ers would also be happy if one of the top four offensive tackles remained available at No. 10. Free-agent pickup Marvel Smith has battled back issues, making it tough for the 49ers to count on him at right tackle.
Plan B: Do the 49ers have the guts to take a quarterback in the first round after getting burned by taking Alex Smith first overall in 2005? I have my doubts, but the team would have to consider Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez if either quarterback slid past the ninth choice. The 49ers still haven't named a starter at the position. They feel as though they can be competitive with Shaun Hill, but they also know he has some physical limitations. Perhaps this is the year Smith gets healthy and realizes his potential. If the 49ers did draft a quarterback, they would be careful not to rush him onto the field.
Scouts Inc. take: "At 10, you might get the best player in the draft. Crabtree or Sanchez could be the best player in the draft and they could get one of them. They are sitting pretty. They have plenty of needs, but somebody is going to be there to fit their needs. I think they could go any way. Their secondary is a solid free safety away from being good enough. Malcolm Jenkins would be very hard to pass up. You could bring him in as a corner and move him or just start him there and he could be a Pro Bowler. Their offensive line is a solid right tackle away from being good enough. And they certainly could use a pass-rusher. If Brian Orakpo fell, they could do that. They would be crazy to pass on Sanchez or Crabtree if available." -- Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.
Who has final say: Team president Jed York is running the football operation and coach Mike Singletary has significant input, but general manager Scot McCloughan is the leading figure on draft day.Now On the Clock: Green Bay Packers, April 8.