NFC West: Aaron Taylor
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The 49ers could use an offensive tackle even after picking up Marvel Smith in free agency. Would they select one with the 10th overall choice?
I discussed the matter with Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. while also researching how 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan's teams have valued offensive tackles in the draft since 1994. The chart shows the tackles McCloughan's teams have drafted, with a few notes worth factoring into your thinking:
- Aaron Taylor was a college tackle who wound up playing guard.
- Ross Verba played guard most of his career.
- Sean Locklear was a potential guard prospect who has become a tackle.
- Adam Snyder, a third-round choice in 2005, has played some tackle, but I left him off the list because guard is his natural position.
The chart shows McCloughan's teams drafting 10 tackles, half between the 16th and 30th overall choices. In some cases, McCloughan's teams drafted tackles as early as they could have drafted them (his teams weren't holding the 10th pick every year, obviously).
But if we consider where the 49ers drafted starting left tackle Joe Staley -- 28th overall in 2007 -- we might wonder whether the team would target a right tackle 18 spots earlier. Would the value line up given that teams generally value left tackles higher than right tackles? With that in mind, I have wondered whether any tackle the 49ers drafted at No. 10 would have to project as a starter on the left side, with Staley eventually moving back to the right side. That might be overthinking things, but it's a consideration.