Around the NFC West: On Mike Wallace

Sorry, San Francisco 49ers fans. It's just tough envisioning the team sacrificing its 2012 first-round draft choice for the right to overpay for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace.

The 49ers have sought to build their team through the draft, patching their roster with relatively affordable free agents. If they were to splurge for Wallace, sacrificing the draft capital that goes along with landing restricted free agents, the move would run 180 degrees counter to form.

Not that Wallace would necessarily be a waste.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee makes a strong case for Wallace in San Francisco. Barrows: "There's no guarantee a top receiver would still be available when the 49ers pick in the first round. And it's hard to imagine any wideout they did select there would be more effective than Wallace, at least initially. The good news for the pro-Wallace crowd is that the 49ers are likely to be interested when free agency starts, just as they threw their name into the ring with Nnamdi Asomugha last year. But as was the case with Asomugha and other high-end cornerbacks in 2011, the 49ers are likely to drop out once the price gets too steep. While giving up the 30th overall pick for a young but proven commodity like Wallace is justifiable, giving up that pick and signing Wallace to a pricey, long-term deal goes against the 49ers' philosophy."

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle checks in with 49ers tight end Nate Byham, who says his surgically repaired knee is full strength. Byham: "Watching all season all I could do was lick my chops and think, 'I’m excited to a part of this.' Especially how they use tight ends and fullbacks. I really see myself fitting in at that H-back spot and that tight end spot. They work it like a jigsaw puzzle. They like to move guys around."

Matthew Hathaway of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers details on the stadium renovation plan Rams officials rejected Thursday. Hathaway: "Taken as a whole, the CVC plan lacked the grand scale of several recent NFL stadium rehabs, like the $375 million overhaul of Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium or the $250 million renovation of Sun Life Stadium in Miami. The CVC plan also called for the Rams to pay for 52 percent of the $124 million project. That's a bigger share than what was paid by NFL teams in recent, more expensive rehab projects in Kansas City, Chicago or New Orleans."

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals tackle Brandon Keith, like Levi Brown, has arrived at a crossroads of sorts. Somers: "Keith showed flashes of the ability that made coaches think he could be an everyday starter. He's athletic for a man of 335 pounds and he can be a physical run blocker. Like Brown, that's his strength. His weakness, like Brown's, has been pass protection. Fast rushers tend to beat him off the ball. The problematic knee has played a role in that, no question. No matter the reason, Keith hasn't shown yet that he can hold up as a starter over time. Like Brown, the Cardinals want Keith back but at the right price. My sense is they place a higher value on Brown returning because he's durable, smart and has the ability to also play the right side."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the combine allowed Seattle's personnel people and coaches to get a better read on underclassmen in the draft. Farnsworth: "That junior class, those players who have been granted special eligibility for the draft, numbers 65 this year -- including Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, USC tackle Matt Kalil, Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe and Alabama running back Trent Richardson. All are expected to be first-round picks on April 26."

Dave Grosby and Bob Stelton of 710ESPN Seattle do not expect the Seahawks to trade up for a quarterback in the draft.

Mike Salk of 710ESPN Seattle says the Seahawks' general manager, John Schneider, does not sound averse to adding a quarterback such as Peyton Manning, if available.