Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Scout's take: Where 49ers stand in draft
By Mike Sando
USC tackle Matt Kalil possibly slipping to St. Louis at No. 6 in the NFL draft might count as a positive development, but it could also steer the Rams away from adding needed offensive weaponry for quarterback Sam Bradford.
And that might not be such a good thing from a need standpoint.
With the draft two days away, I reached out to Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. for thoughts on potential unwelcome or complicating developments for NFC West teams, based on their needs and where they are selecting in the draft order.
For the most part, however, Muench liked where teams in the division stood. After discussing every NFC West team with him, I'll pass along highlights from our conversation, beginning with thoughts on the 49ers and working backward through the order:
Muench: I would think they will want a corner, but they probably will not reach for one. Dre Kirkpatrick will probably be off the board. Janoris Jenkins, that would be fascinating for me. I'm not sure how he would work out.
Sando: Jenkins was the choice for San Francisco at No. 30 when I chose for them in our recent ESPN Blogger Mock Draft. My thinking was that the 49ers had the leadership on defense to take a risk on a talented player with a few red flags.
Muench: That is one way of looking at it. My concern with him is that when he gets challenged and has someone get in his face, how is he going to react? If he reacts well, then you've won. If not, it goes south quickly and that is the concern. From what I have understood, I wouldn’t say he was coddled or babied at Florida, but he got away with a lot, and when he was challenged, the next thing you know, he’s at North Alabama. There was talk of him firing an agent. I'm just not sure he's that guy looking for redemption. Some guys, you just cannot get to. Now, at what point does the risk become worth the reward? Maybe it's at the end of the first round. He is a top 15 talent.
Sando: You're talking me out of Jenkins. Maybe he's not the type of guy an organization wants to hold up as a first-round selection. If the 49ers do not find a corner to their liking at No. 30, which direction do they go? They appear set at tight end, so Coby Fleener might be a luxury pick. They do have a need at guard.
Muench: Jeff Allen from Illinoi and Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin are two guards they could take a look at -- guys who might normally go in the second round. They could consider a defensive end, like a Kendall Reyes from Connecticut, but it's hard to say you're looking to the future there, as well as Justin Smith is playing. It's a little early for Derek Wolfe from Cincinnati, maybe Devon Still from Penn State. Those are all guys that are fringe guys (first-round wise).
Sando: Nothing jumps out.
Muench: I think they can sit there and take the best available player.