SANTA CLARA During a recent draft discussion with general manager Scot McCloughan, 49ers coach Mike Singletary wanted to know more about the players targeted in the second round.
Sure, McCloughan could have offered up five players of interest the team would be happy to select with the No. 43 overall pick. But ...
All five could be gone in the first round, or all five could be sitting there for us, McCloughan said. Theres no way of telling this year whats going to happen.
There is even a lot of uncertainty about the 49ers options for their turn in the first round with the No. 10 overall pick.
The 49ers are believed to have an affinity for receiver Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech), offensive tackles Jason Smith (Baylor), Eugene Monroe (Virginia) and Andre Smith (Alabama), and defensive end Tyson Jackson (LSU), according to multiple sources throughout the NFL.
But its also possible none of those five options will be available when the 49ers go on the clock after 2 p.m.
The way we approach this, the best player available is very important, McCloughan said. I dont think were set at any one position where we can sit back and say, Were good there. We cant get much better there.
(Our) approach is (were) taking the best football player. It might not be the bang you want the first year, but the future say, three years or six years youre going to have more luck, and be more right than wrong, by taking the best player.
In 2006, the 49ers had the No. 6 overall pick, one spot behind the Green Bay Packers and McCloughans friend, general manager Ted Thompson.
It was believed the 49ers would have taken linebacker A.J. Hawk. But the Packers selected Hawk, instead, leaving the 49ers to select tight end Vernon Davis. All was forgotten a year later when the 49ers got their linebacker and the teams best player in the first round: Patrick Willis.
Again, the 49ers will have an agonizing wait with the Packers slated to pick in front of them. The Packers are making the conversion this year to a 3-4 defense, so they could select Jackson at No. 9. They also have a need at tackle.