NFC West: Harris Barton
That way you could move David Bass to a backup role if he is re-signed. It would be similar to what the Jets did a few years ago with D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold.
Mike Sando: I like the Jets comparison because the 49ers have wanted to become a power running team as well. As the Jets' site notes, their selection of Ferguson and Mangold marked the first time since 1975 that an NFL team selected two offensive linemen in the first round of the same draft. The Rams did it with Dennis Harrah and Doug France in 1975.
Your thinking is sound in theory, but the reality is that the values San Francisco places on players in this draft could make it difficult or even impossible for them to justify going that route at the expense of any higher-rated players available to them in the round. It's impossible to know right now which players will be available. It just seems unlikely that the value would justify going that route based on all the other potential scenarios.
I do like your thinking in theory, except that the ideal scenario would be to find effective starting offensive linemen later in the draft, saving the higher picks for positions of greater impact. The 49ers would be addressing an area where a team can't have enough quality depth among the nine offensive linemen that typically earn 53-man roster spots.
Williams unofficially ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.8-second range, pretty remarkable for an offensive tackle. The 49ers will value size over speed as they look for a right tackle, and Williams has that, too (6-foot-5 and 315 pounds). Even though the 49ers have wanted to become a physical running team, it's important for their right tackle to hold up well in pass protection. I think it's an absolute must if they seriously consider drafting a right tackle among the first 17 picks.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Productive morning so far at 49ers camp, watching practice and conducting interviews. A few notes from the morning practice:
- Mike Singletary's nutcracker drills made a surprise appearance for a second consecutive day. Starting guard David Baas didn't make it through the drill. A foot strain was the initial diagnosis. No timetable for his return.
- Defensive end Kentwan Balmer suffered a sprained knee. He did not return. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky heaped praise upon Balmer for making a big jump from his first to second seasons.
- Manusky qualified his praise for pass-rusher Manny Lawson by saying he is "always expecting more" from him. Lawson has generally impressed as a pass-rusher from what I have seen, faring well in individual drills. He batted down a quick swing pass during practice Monday morning.
- I'm not seeing an obvious difference between quarterbacks Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. I'd love to file a conclusive report here, but I haven't made conclusions, other than noting that Smith appears stronger and more confident this summer. Looking forward to the afternoon practice, another chance to watch them.
- Manusky echoed Singletary in praising Ahmad Brooks. The staff has been hard on Brooks in the past, a sign that Brooks has potential (the staff wouldn't take the time to jump on him if Brooks weren't worth the trouble). Brooks is getting work in Parys Haralson's spot while Haralson recovers from a hip injury.
- Free safety Dashon Goldson remains a good practice player. Manusky said he hopes the additional first-team reps Goldson is getting will help him transfer his ability to games. We won't be able to tell much more until the season.
- The 49ers are not built to pass protect for long stretches. That was clear when they tried to run Mike Martz's system. I think it's sometimes clear from watching one-on-one pass-rush drills. This is a power-oriented team. The line is at its best moving forward.
- A few have asked about defensive end Pannel Egboh and offensive tackle Alex Boone. Egboh threw Boone to the side in one-on-one pass-rush work. He also tossed veteran backup tackle Barry Sims. All was not pleasant for Egboh, however. Adam Snyder absolutely pancaked him early in the drill.
- Former 49ers tackle Harris Barton watched practice Monday, as did former receiver and administrator R.C. Owens. I spoke with Owens for a bit. If you've watched NFL Films programming much, you've seen Owens' alley-oop receptions. Owens still likes it when people call him "Oop" or "Oops" -- as they did during practice.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Jim Hanifan's removal from the Rams' radio booth has caused "quite a stir" among listeners. Caesar: "Gone will be his blistering criticism when players on the home team messed up, something that was immensely refreshing to listeners who endured a team that was 5-27 the last two seasons. Gone too probably will be the delay-system that was implemented on the broadcasts in case Hanifan became infuriated and uttered a word that he often used on the sidelines when he was coaching."
VanRam of Turf Show Times says Rams fans shouldn't write off sixth-round quarterback Keith Null as a wasted pick.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic cites an NFL source as saying Anquan Boldin's recent contract proposal to the Cardinals averaged just less than $10 million per year. Larry Fitzgerald is earning $10 million per season. Agent Drew Rosenhaus released a statement saying Boldin was not asking for that much. Rosenhaus told Somers that Boldin was not "just going to sit pat and look forward to another uncomfortable year like last year. We're going to continue to talk to the team about a new deal and continue to hope the team will be flexible for a trade."
Taylor Price of 49ers.com checks in with former tackle Harris Barton, drafted to replace Keith Fahnhorst. Barton: "Keith was a fantastic gentleman about it all. I swore if I was ever put in the same position towards the end of my career, I would be as gentlemanly as he was. Keith was great, as were other veterans on the offensive line like Randy Cross, Fred Quinlan and Bubba Paris." Barton played with the 49ers long enough to earn a spot on the wall reserved for players with 10 years' experience in the organization.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times examines Casey Greer's contention that teams with run-oriented offenses shouldn't rely heavily on Cover 2 defenses. I see no reason for the Seahawks to be a run-oriented team. Their personnel is geared toward the passing game and I think that will show up in how coordinator Greg Knapp calls the games, particularly if the team is functioning well at quarterback.