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Chat Transcript With Scott Wright - Transcribed By Bryan Hersh

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Scott since it is early, you want to tell us a bit about yourself and NFL Draft Countdown?
Sure. I guess what the site is best known for is the mock drafts, which are the most in-depth out there by far with almost 10,000 words of analysis and they have also been some of the most historically accurate as well. Last year I finished with the top grade in all the mock draft contests, beating Kiper, PFW, etc with 14 of the first 15 picks to the correct teams.  I also have the highest 3 year average. Then we have over 400 players ranked with scouting reports and all that as well. Then the final mock draft will be posted late Friday the night before the Draft or very early Saturday morning.

Scott, what to you think about selecting Rolle at number 1 since QB seems to be too risky this year

I don't think Rolle is an option at #1 but I do know the Niners scouted him heavily throughout the season and really like him.  If they trade down he will be an option there, but I don't see him at #1 overall in any shape or form.

Who will be the better pro Smith or Rodgers?

In the long-term Alex Smith could be the better pro quarterback, but he also has a high bust potential and is a much riskier pick. Personally, I have had Rodgers rated #1 since day one and obviously really like him, although I have Rodgers as the #3 player overall in the draft so there isn't a lot separating them.

If you are the gambling type you take Smith, if you are more conservative you take Aaron Rodgers.

Scott.. i am one of the few in the Paradise who thinks the Niners should draft Rogers. Why is he worth the pick. What makes him special?

What impresses me most about Aaron Rodgers is his accuracy, it as as good as I have ever seen for a prospect. He also has a great arm and his mechanics and delivery are textbook. Plus, he has played in a Pro Style offense and is used to working from under center.

Also, I have heard Mike Nolan wants the guy he drafts to start right away and Alex Smith will probably need a year or two while Rodgers is ready to go.

What are your thoughts on Matt Jones and his quick rise? And do the Niners have a shot at getting him at #33?

Jones looks like a solid late-1st to early-2nd rounder right now. His rise has been as dramatic as any I have ever seen, even more so than when Mike Mamula shot up in 1995. Personally, I wouldn't touch him before round three because he is so raw and will need a ton of development.

Any team that drafts him can expect little or no contribution from his as a rookie.

What can you read from Nolan's comments (or lack thereof) on Smith's workout today?

I think it speaks volumes that they felt the need to see him again under proper circumstances. They saw Rodgers workout in the style they wanted, they obviously hadn't seen what they needed to from Smith yet and it makes you wonder if his people were trying to hide shortcomings the first time around.

Which highly touted player can drop to the niners at #33? Spears,Pool?

I think the most likely guy to drop to #33 will likely be a cornerback or defensive end because of the depth there so I would say Marlin Jackson, Justin Miller, Dan Cody, Justin Tuck. Guys like that.

Add Shaun Cody in there as well.

Scott, do you think it is in the 49ers best interest to take their franchise QB at #1 or trade down to pick another player up?

If they can move down a little and still land Rodgers I would do it, but if I were them there is no doubt in my mind that I would stick at #1 overall and nab Aaron Rodgers.

I think they have to come away with a franchise QB in round one.

What makes Rodgers different from other Tedford products

I don't know that you can lump him in the same barrell as others. If you do that you could say Peyton Manning would be a bust because Heath Shuler was. You have to look at each player as an individual.
As I said though, Rodgers has an elite arm, amazing accuracy and textbook mechanics.

Can you ask him what he thinks the chances are we will trade our first pick to the chargers for one of their two quarterbacks
Scott, do you think it is in the 49ers best interest to take their franchise QB at #1 or trade down to pick another player up?

Zero chance of the Niners landing Rivers or Brees. San Diego doesn't want to trade them and in terms of the cap they can't do it anyways.

The Chargers are not solid on Brees and want to keep Rivers around one more year as insurance.

On paper that trade rumor made sense but there was no truth behind it.
Plus, I personally think both Rodgers and Smith are better prospects than Rivers anyway.

What are your thoughts on Adrian McPherson, if they pass on Rodgers and Smith could he be someone the Niners might look at in the say the 3rd round?

I don't think a developmental QB is what the Niners need. They need a player who can come in and contribute now, not three years from now.

Who's going to pick Adrian McPherson, and do you think his athleticism will make him a great NFL quarterback?

He certainly has all the physical tools you look for and is an intriguing prospect. I currently have him going to Arizona at the end of round three since Denny Green is known for taking risks on talented but troubled players. >>>

That's an interesting point of view, from most people I have read they think Rivers was a better prospect then both Rodgers and Smith

Yep, I had Rivers rated lower than most last year (the #22 player overall I believe).

Chris Canty, how is his rehab going? Also could be be around at the top of the third? Also what is your opinion of him before he got hurt?

Remember, the Chargers were the only team who would have taken him in the Top 10.

Had Eli Manning agreed to go to San Diego he would have gone #1, Roethlisberger would have gone to the Giants at #4 and Rivers would have gone #11 to Pittsburgh at the very highest and he could have easily slipped further than that even.

Canty was well on his way to being a 1st round pick in the mold of Marcus Spears before he got hurt. His rehab is coming along and he would be an ideal fit as a 3-4 defensive end.

Don't you think the whole Braylon Edwards thing is a smoke screen, I mean if they wanted a receiver wouldn't the niners have traded for Moss? Is there any chance that the Niners might pick Braylon Edwards and take a chance on a 2nd round QB or a veteran?

No doubt in my mind the Niners interest in Braylon Edwards is only to try and drum up trade interest.
I don't think Edwards is a legitimate option for San Francisco.

Follow up to the Canty question.. Which round will he most likely go in with his status up in the air due to injury?

I think Canty is a solid Day One pick and he could go as high as round two. What will work in his favor is all those teams now switching to a 3-4 scheme and needed big defensive ends.

BTW, if the Niners can sign Marques Douglas that would be a GREAT move.

Which of the current top 10 picks in your mock do you think is most likely to drop in the draft?
Who do you see dropping to the second round who should be in the first. Specificslly which DB's do you see available at #33

I think Justin Miller and Brodney Pool will be steals if they fall to round two in terms of defensive backs. As far as the top ten goes, I could see Alex Barron and Pac-Man Jones falling a little from where I currently have them.

As far as guys outside of my top ten who could move in, watch for Shawne Merriman and David Pollack.

You have us taking Jackson at #33 will that change after news that Rumph will remain at cb?
The Niners still have a big need at FS, anyway Brodney Pool falls to #33? And if so would he be a good pick for the 49ers?

I think the Niners should dragt CBS/Safety in rds 2 and 3.. Who should be there for the Niners in these rds?

No, I don't think it is a lock Rumph will remain at corner for the long-haul and even if he does Jackson could play free safety as well.

Pool would be a GREAT pick for the Niners if he fell to #33.

Marion barber many people don't realize he is bigger than Cedric Benson, while still having great 40. WHere do you think he goes and how do you think he will be as a pro?

I was kind of surprised he ran as well as he did. I think he is a solid Day One pick now and could even go as high as round two.

One of the 49ers biggest needs has to be defensive lineman that can play in the 3-4 scheme. Do you see any players in the middle rounds (3-5) that could fit this need?

Sure, in the 3-4 I think Chris Canty, Jimmy Verdon, Jay Ratliff, Derreck Robinson and Mike Montgomery would all be solid fit.

Where do you see bartell going and why? I think he could be surprise 1st rounder.

Bartell has nice measurables but I wasn't all that impressed with him when I watched him at the Senior Bowl practices down in Mobile. I think he could ultimately be a better safety prospect than corner. I just didn't see the burst, make-up speed and ball skills from him in Mobile. >>>

Do you see sf possibly taking sproles in the 4th or 5th and using him as a supplement to Barlow and particularly on 3rd down? I feel if he could get 5-10 touches per game he will make a difference.

I think Sproles would be a solid pick in round five and could be a very good pro as long as teams don't expect him to be much more than a 3rd down and change of pace runner.

He mentions Merriman, what's his opinion on him as a player and potential playmaker. Does he agree with any of the Lawrence Taylor comparisons?

Merriman is a physical freak in the Jevon Kearse and John Abraham mold. He is going to go very high because he can be either an impact defensive end in a 4-3 or a top outside linebacker in a 3-4. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he went a lot higher than most expect on Draft Day, even the top 5 overall.

If the bears take edwards and TB take Williams. and Pac Man and Jones are gone before pick 9 (Tenesse and Arizona). Which way would the skins go? Defense or Williamson? If the choose williamson is pick 9 too high for him?

 btw. i meant pac man and rolle.

I don't see the Bears taking Edwards and from what i hear they prefer Mike Williams if they go WR at #4. Anyways, I think Williamson will be an option for the Skins at #9 along with Antrel Rolle.

Also, don't rule out a defensive end like Merriman, Spears or Pollack for the Skins.

Speaking for a lot of Niner fans here who also happen to be Cal Bear fans.. What do you think of J.J. Arrington and where do you think he will end up? I like JJ Arrington in the 3rd. What do you think of him?

A lot of teams love J.J. Arrington and I think he is a lock for round two and could be the fourth running back drafted. I hear Dennis Green really likes him and could take him in round two if he goes elsewhere in round one.

Are Braylon Edwards Hands a major concern or is it something that is blown out of proportion? Is there any chance that we could land david boston on the free agent market?

It's not so much Edwards hands as it is his concentration and it is a minor concern.

As for Boston, it wouldn't surprise me if they brought him in although I don't know how good that would be to have him around all their young wideouts.

Last year we saw Philip Rivers shoot up the draft boards to #4 when he was considered a mid to late first rounder, which player do you see doing that this year?

I don't know anyone is going to move up that much now but Matt Jones has gone from a Day Two pick to a potential first rounder in about a month. I think Shawne Merriman could be a surprise Top 5 pick as well.

Elton Brown, what is up with his disapearing act at the senior bowl and combine? Is he still considered a low first round pick?

I don't see Brown going in round one and the reason he doesn't have a shot is his own doing because, as you mentioned, the Senior Bowl and then leaving the Combine early based on his agents advice. He also had a poor workout where he was injured again.

Are you hearing anything on who the niners may be targeting with the mid round picks?
I really haven't heard much from them in terms of the mid-rounds, only that they are targeting a lot of defense.

David Baas i personally like him much better at guard, if he were drafted to play guard could he hold the RG spot? Or is he similar to last years 2nd round pick Justin Smiley?

Yes, I really like Baas as well and have him projected as a guard but he could play any of the inside spots. He is going to be a steal for someone in round two I believe.

Hey Scott, have you seen this kid Jesse Lumsden from Canada? Where do you see him be drafted and could he be the real deal?

I think Lumsden could get a shot in a training camp but I don't have him rated as a draftable prospect.

Dan Cody was rated very highly a month ago (you had him in the top 10-15 i beleive) why has he fallen to a late 1st around pick 27?

A couple of reasons. First because he is a 'tweener without a true pro position plus there are the concerns with his battle with depression that led to him quitting the team and walking away from football a few years back. He could even fall out of round one from what I am told.

In the event that we do trade down in round one and do not get a QB later on, what QB's
will be available next year that are the cream of the crop?

Next year will be an even weaker crop of QB's with Matt Leinart the only elite player among the 06 senior and junior classes. >>>

This is a picky question, but what do you know about the pro chances of some Northwest Missoui State prospects. LB Adam Long, CB Gabrial Helms and of course Jamica Rector

Of those three I think Rector has the best shot of being drafted and making it, albeit as a late round pick.

Sione Pouha, Albert Means, and Jason Jefferson would any of these guys be good NT picks
in the middle rounds? Luis Castillo where do you see him going and could he play NT?

Pouha and Means are NT prospect. Look for Pouha on early to mid day two while Means is a late rounder at best. Castillo can be a NT as well and is a solid 2nd rounder with an outside shot at round one.

Scott, in your opinion who are the teams most likely to make trades involving their first round picks?
I think Miami and Cleveland are both going to do their best to move down. If I were guessing I would say the Browns are the most likely. >>>

Do you think Dan Orlovsky from Uconn has any chance going on the first day?

Outside chance, but he is probably in the 4-6 range.

You have us taking Vernand Morency in the 3rd what do you like about him?

He is a lot faster than he ran in workouts and he is also a great athlete. He is also a big play threat who can take it the distance at any time so he would be a nice change of pace to Barlow.

In your experience how often do players like Khaliff Barnes (who have great measurables but poor on field production 5 sacks against Jorge Cordova) turn out to be good pros?

Scott_Wright: I don't have any hard statistics but in my opinion it is never a good idea to place too much emphasis on workouts. It is part of the equation, but it should never be the biggest part.

Antwan rogers from purdue why is he rated so low on your board?
He is coming off an injury and hasn't been able to work out, plus he doesn't have very good bulk.

Who do you see winning offensive and defensive Rookie of the Year?

I think that's too hard to say right now, so much depends on the situation players are in. Based on talent alone I will say Cedric Benson and Shawne Merriman.

Wesley Britt, after geting hurt at the senior bowl seems like his stock is falling, where is it now?

I think Britt is in the 3rd-4th round range and I really like him in terms of value there.

Is Chris Henry WR worth drafting by the niners with their 3rd pick?

I don't think Chris Henry is a good fit character-wise for the Niners.

 If too much emphasis should not be places on workouts then why is ronnie brown now the top RB prospect ahead of williams and benson who actually produced better in college? If Brown was so much better why did he not start over cadillac?

That's a great questions and teams do wonder why he didn't start. At the same time he was also a great college player was a legit Top 10 pick before workouts so it isn't like he moved up that terrible much. Plus, that year Cadillac missed with an injury Brown did go over 1,000 yds. with something like 15 TD's.

What do you think of Brandon Jacobs as a FB prospect?

Jacobs is interesting and some teams are even looking at him as an H-Back. He is certainly very impressive physically but as a fullback he won't bring much in terms of block, which is what the NFL looks for in that position these days. >>>

Is Chris Henry WR worth drafting by the niners with their 3rd pick?

In terms of talent Henry would be a great pick in round three, in terms of character he is probably an undrafted player. Character-wise I don't think he is a good fit for the 49'ers.

Could Mike Nugent seriously be taken in the second round?

Easily. Nugent is a better prospect than Nate Kaeding who went high in round three a year ago. He is a solid 2nd rounder in my book. He has a big leg and is clutch.

Apparently Antrel Rolle declined to work out for the Jets. Any thoughts on why?

Yep, Rolle knows he is going to be LONG gone by the time the Jets pick so it would be a waste of his time and an unnecesary injury risk. Rolle could even be the first defensive player chosen.

If the niners' draft goes the way you say it will what will their record be?

They are still rebuilding but if they can stay healthy and considering they are in a weak division I think 6-10 is possible.

What defensive linemen in the (early) draft fit the 3-4 scheme?

Marcus Spears and Chris Canty are both ideal fits at end in a 3-4 defensive scheme.

What are your thoughts on LBs Matt McCoy and Nick Speegle? (The Niners brought them both in for workouts)

I really like McCoy, he was very productive with San Diego St. and has had some great workouts. I think he has a shot at round three now.

If Rodgers reaches his full potential, what level do you think he could reach, Peyton
Manning, Daunte Culpepper, Drew Brees?
Does aaron rogers sub-par performance in the holiday bowl affect the niners decision
to draft him #1 at all

Ignore that bowl game, Rodgers was playing with young, inexperienced receivers who just killed him. It will have no effect because everyone I have spoken to about it knows what he was up against.
As for his upside, I think he can be a Top 10 NFL QB.

do you make anything of Nolan taking Arnaz Battle to work out with Smith instead of Woods. how did you rate him coming out of college? does he have the tools to be a #1 WR in this league?

I don't think Battle is an elite guy but he can be a nice #2 or #3. Remember, he was a QB for the majority of his college career and is still learning the position.

Where do you see Courtney Roby going in the draft? Is he a good fit for a west coast offense?

I think Roby is a 3rd-4th rounder and if a team is looking for someone with speed to stretch the field he is a great option there. >>>
bryan-49ersParadise: Just clarifying on the Woods Battle question, how do you feel about Woods being #1 in an offense?

I really liked Woods last year in the Draft and I have no idea why they insisted on playing guys with no long-term future with the team like Wilson and Conway. That was a major, major error on their part in my mind and set back the development of Woods, Hamilton, Battle and Lloyd. >>>

Who is the best center in the draft? Spencer or Baas?

I have Baas as a guard so I will say Chris Spencer.

Is Maurice Clarrett worth being drafted?

Absolutely and I think Clarett is actually underrated and will be a steal if he falls past round five. With all the hoopla the past two years people forget how good of a player he was at Ohio St. as a freshman.

Don't get me wrong, he has a major downside but in round five the risk is minimal.

Ryan Riddle and Jonathan Goddard at linebacker, how good can they be after their
transition? Or will Riddle remain on the DL?

Riddle might be able to stay at DE but I think Goddard will have to move to linebacker, which he can do in the right scheme.

Who is the best Free Saftey in the draft?

Brodney Pool, followed by Josh Bullocks.

It is a year later, how do you grade the 49ers draft of last season? Most fans were
expecting more from R. Woods and Justin Smiley. Was their slow development due to lack
of coaching or are they busts?

I was real high on what they did after the Draft so I am going to attribute it to poor coaching, especially in the cases of Rashaun Woods and Derrick Hamilton. There was just no excuse for not playing those guys more.

Is Mike Williams being underestimated because of his 40 time? Jerry Rice ran a 4.7 at his combine.

I think he was, but not anymore. Williams is now a lock for the Top 7 and the teams choosing #4, #5, #6 and #7 are all seriously considering him.

Would Bryant McFadden be a good pick at #33?

He would be a solid pick there, but I am not as high on him as most. I think there will be a better CB there than McFadden.

What is your feeling on the QB the 49ers picked last season, Cody Pickett. Does he have what it takes to be a starter in the NFL

I really like Pickett and think he can one day be a nice backup, but not a starter. In my opinion the 49'ers do not have a QB that is of starting caliber on their roster right now.

Do you see the Niners taking a OLB early? If so, who would be a good fit?

I really don't, LB is probably the strongest position on the entire team.

Do you think the team could trade Julian Peterson?

I don't. He is a leader on that defense and a great fit in their new scheme. They need him in my opinion.

At pick 28 the chargers could take matt jones or roddy white who do you think they should pick?

No doubt in my mind, Roddy White. In fact, I wouldn't recommend them taking Matt Jones in round two.

Why is Antajj Hawthorne stock seem to be dropping?

He did not have a big senior season and was overshadowed by Erasmus James, plus he did not work out well. I think he is going to be a great pick if he falls to mid-round two.

Is the 40 yard dash time an overrated scouting tool? In the instance of a guy like Clarrett who without a doubt is a football player, does 40 yard dash speed really matter that much?

I think you need the 40 time, but it can be taken too seriously at some positions. It is most important for WR's and CB's. It isn't worthless but you have to look at the all-around package and not just speed.

Dominique Foxworth i loved watching him at the combine, he looked to be one of the better corners, where do you see him going overall?

I think Foxworth could be a mid-round pick. He needs to continue bulking up but he is a good cover corner.

This draft seems to be generally considered a "weak draft", do you buy into this line of thinking?
a month ago Brandon Browner was a first rounder... ahead of Marlin Jackson and Fabian Washington... he now seems to be a nid 2nd rounder... for a guy whos 6'4 with 4.4 speed why is he falling so far?

That's just it, he doesn't have 4.4 speed, he has 4.7 speed which is why he is dropping so much and may have to move to safety. He should have gone back to school.

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