Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Sigmund Bloom of draftguys.com responded via Facebook to the questions I raised earlier Monday. I'll reformat my questions and his answers into a conversation, with additional thoughts from me, for easier navigation.
Sigmund Bloom answer: Yes on Smith for sure (terrific character in addition to rare physical ability and a killer instinct). Yes on Monroe as long as the knees checked out.
Mike Sando response: What if the Lions and Rams didn't take a tackle at No. 2? We could conceivably see the Chiefs go for defense at that point. Seattle could come back with Michael Crabtree or Aaron Curry. The Bengals could go after Andre Smith. Etc.
Mike Sando question: Will tackle Andre Smith come off the board before Monroe and Jason Smith? Rang has Andre Smith heading to the Bengals. I tend to agree with that assessment.
Sigmund Bloom answer: No on Andre before Jason. Yes on Andre before Monroe if the knee issue has legs.
Mike Sando answer: Nice turn of phrase on the knee issue possibly having legs. I'm just not entirely sold on what the Rams will do at No. 2. Conventional wisdom says they'll take a tackle because they need one. I think the Rams' have glaring needs elsewhere, however, and I also think they'll try to avoid placing need over value disproportionately. And I do think there's reason to at least question how to value those tackles at the top.
Mike Sando question: Would the Seahawks really consider a quarterback at No. 4? I think they would have to consider it, but I also think the new staff likes Matt Hasselbeck and thinks he has a few strong seasons left. This decision becomes more difficult if Michael Crabtree and Aaron Curry aren't available.
Sigmund Bloom answer: If they think Sanchez is truly a franchise QB, how can they pass unless it is for a player they love even more (Curry and Crabtree would qualify, they are one every 3-5 years types of talents at their respective positions) The Seahawks won't be in a position to take a franchise QB again for a while, this year's top 5 pick is an aberration.
Mike Sando response: I know the Seahawks thought hard about drafting a quarterback in the second round a year ago. Lots of things have happened since then. While most of us focus on one of those things -- Matt Hasselbeck missed games to injury last season -- Hasselbeck and new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp have developed a terrific rapport. Knapp has spent recent seasons working with a rookie quarterback (JaMarcus Russell) and a one-dimensional quarterback (Michael Vick). I think he's excited to work with an established passer, and I think that excitement could dissuade the Seahawks from taking a quarterback that early.
Mike Sando question: Can the 49ers resist drafting one of the top four tackles, if available? I tend to think not. The decision becomes more complicated -- or at least more controversial -- if Sanchez remains available at No. 10.
Sigmund Bloom answer: I expect all four of the tackles to end up in the top 10, so no. Now that [Parys] Haralson is locked up, that makes rush OLB less of a priority.
Mike Sando response: I think that is overstating Parys Haralson's value. He was already under contract for the 2009 season. The new deal with him changes nothing for 2009. The 49ers needed pass-rush help even when Haralson was getting 8.0 sacks last season. Re-signing him does not address the need.
Mike Sando question: Is there anyway Crabtree slips past the top five? That would surprise me. He might be one of the few prospects this year to qualify as a top-10 pick in any draft, based on the potential he has shown to this point.
Sigmund Bloom answer: Crabtree could slip if Sanchez cracks the top 5, but if he falls out of the top 10, assume that he ate an infant in an interview or something.
Mike Sando followup: That wouldn't surprise me as much -- the part about Sanchez possibly slipping out of the top 10. We'll see some surprises at the top of this draft. We're hearing too many differences of opinion.