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Thursday, March 12, 2009
Mocking the NFC West: Differences of opinion

By Mike Sando

Pick Team Mel Kiper Jr. Todd McShay
Rams Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
Jason Smith, OT, Baylor
4 Seahawks
Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College
10 49ers Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn St.
Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
31 Cardinals Chris Wells, RB, Ohio St.
Chris Wells, RB, Ohio St.

Posted by's Mike Sando

We've spent too much time discussing Michael Crabtree for ESPN's dueling mock drafters to pass over the Texas Tech receiver in projecting how NFC West teams will use their selections.

Their full first-round mocks is available to ESPN Insiders. I've broken out their NFC West selections. Both saw the Rams and Cardinals the same way.

If the 49ers draft Andre Smith, as Todd McShay predicts, they would be turning one of the draft's safer strategies -- drafting an offensive lineman -- into a significant gamble. The Seahawks and Rams would probably come out OK addressing their offensive lines. Seattle could do worse than adding another big body to its defensive front.

If I'm the 49ers, I'd rather find pass-rush help for my 3-4 defense than take a chance on a potentially underperforming prospect, even though the team does need a right tackle.

One more mock note: Rob Rang's mock draft from March 11 on NFL Draft Scout has the Seahawks taking Crabtree and the Cardinals taking Cal center Alex Mack. He had the Rams taking Jason Smith and the 49ers taking Andre Smith.