Plans for the draft and free agency dominated the first NFC West chat since the 2010 season ended with Green Bay's victory over Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.
Transcript here. Highlights below:
Sam (SF): Hey Mike, I love the blog. The Niners need a shutdown CB. Do you think they would look at Prince Amukamara with the No. 7 pick? Would he still be available? If they didn't get him, are they in the running for Nnamdi Asomugha?
Mike Sando: Thanks, Sam. The 49ers' new defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, was with the Houston Texans when they used the 10th overall choice of the 2004 draft for cornerback Dunta Robinson. So, there is some history of a team with a Fangio-led defense targeting an elite cornerback early in a draft. I doubt the 49ers will be locked into taking a cornerback, but if they take one there, it's no surprise -- and there would be some history behind such a move. As for Asomugha, I suspect the Raiders will re-sign him and I see no indication the 49ers would be ahead of other teams in line to sign him. They haven't been a big player in free agency lately.
Drew Plommer (Seattle): Pete Carroll and John Schneider are not scared to make bold moves. Do you think this is a good idea? Trade Lofa Tatupu for a pick. Trade Chris Clemons for a pick. Move Aaron Curry to the Leo. Draft a rush OLB and a big ILB and run a 3-4. Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant at DE, Colin Cole at NT, Curry and make Akeem Ayers at OLB, David Hawthorne and Martez Wilson at ILB. Curry is still a beast. Will Seattle ever unleash Curry and just tell him go get the QB instead of sitting head up against a TE and never rush?
Mike Sando: Those are some grand plans. I do not advise making a wholesale philosophical change that might not be the best fit for the coaching staff. The Seahawks are early enough in the building process to target players for the general defensive scheme they run. Within that, there is room for tweaking, and we saw the Seahawks do that last season. But it's tough to become a true 3-4 coach overnight, in my view. You are right about Seattle being unafraid to make bold moves. No one is likely going to acquire Tatupu's $4.35 million salary. I would see Marcus Trufant as another trade candidate, but he has an inflated salary at this stage, too. On Curry, doesn't he have to earn that role? I find it a tough sell thinking the team would just anoint him the Leo and take its chances.
Jordan (Boise): People keep saying Steven Jackson is going to be phased out because of Josh McDaniels' hiring, but I think it's more likely that we see a version of Faulk 2.0 this year out of Jackson. Anyone that has watched him play since he first came into the league knows he is an extremely good receiver as well and rusher. If anything, the Rams ran their best last year when the field was spread out and while trying to run off the edge as opposed to up the middle. If he can stay healthy, I think Steven Jackson could have a huge year next year rushing and receiving. The man has had 90 receptions in a season before, and in 2005, when Faulk was still playing, Jackson had more yards receiving the with one less catch. What do you think?
Mike Sando: There's no question it's easy to overreact on this subject. We know the Rams want to run their offense through Sam Bradford. They ran it through him last season, in fact. We know the Rams had little use for traditional fullback Mike Karney even before they released him this week. We should expect to see the Rams transition away from a traditional power running game, but not necessarily away from Jackson. He's too good to leave on the outside of the game plan, and McDaniels has to know this.
Joe (Phoenix): Sando, McShay is now on the Kiper bandwagon with the Cards taking Blaine Gabbert. Do you really believe they will go this route? They have to sign a veteran. Could the usually stingy Bidwills pay for a top 10 QB and a veteran starter?
Mike Sando: The Cardinals were paying $5 million a year to veteran Kurt Warner when they selected Matt Leinart with the 10th choice in the 2006 draft. Word did trickle out more recently that the Cardinals didn't want to pay two veteran quarterbacks this past season, but how many teams pay decent money to two starting quarterbacks? If the Cardinals acquire a high-dollar veteran before the draft, they can go in another direction on draft day. But if there is no free agency before the draft or the Cardinals fail to address the position in a significant way, they need to more strongly consider drafting one.
Joe from Phoenix mentioned Todd McShay's latest mock draft, available to Insider subscribers.