Around the NFC West: Niners scouts dig in

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Niners area scout Ethan Waugh says the scouting staff has been studying underclassmen in preparation for the draft. Waugh: "There are several underclassmen from my area who declared early. Chris 'Beanie' Wells has been the starting running back at Ohio State the last two years. He is a talented guy who is big, strong and fast. He's been very productive while playing at the highest level of competition. Ohio State also has a receiver, Brian Hartline, who has been a consistent big-play receiver. They are primarily a run-oriented offense, so he does not have the kind of numbers that some receivers do, but is a weapon nonetheless. Donald Washington, also a Buckeye, is a good sized corner that has played both inside and out and shows good speed -- he will be interesting to watch at the Combine."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says former Rams defensive line coach Brian Baker has taken the same job with the Panthers. Former Rams secondary coach Ron Milus is also with the Panthers. Former Panthers linebackers coach Ken Flajole is the Rams' defensive coordinator. Also, 12 of Scott Linehan's 19 former assistants have found work, Thomas notes.

Also from Thomas: The Rams had nice things to say about Corey Chavous upon releasing the veteran safety. General manager Billy Devaney: "When it became clear to us that we were going to move in a different direction, we thought out of respect for Corey, and to give him the best chance to explore all his options, that this was the best time to make this move. Corey Chavous epitomizes everything that's good about the NFL. He's classy, smart, hard-working. He gave it his all. The team always came first."

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Linehan brought Chavous to St. Louis after getting to know him in Minnesota.

Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind says re-signing Karlos Dansby should be the Cardinals' top priority this offseason. He advocates naming Dansby the team's franchise player again. Hawkwind: "If the Cardinals tag Dansby (deadline to tag is the 19th), they are the only team that can negotiate with him and they have until the middle of July to agree to a contract. If they chose not to franchise him by next Thursday, though, he'll put the pressure squarely on the shoulder of Rod Graves." Dansby would be able to negotiate with other teams as a non-exclusive franchise player, but the tag would probably dissuade other teams from negotiating.

Scott Allen of Raising Zona qoutes KTAR radio in Phoenix as saying the Cardinals are expected to name linebackers coach Bill Davis their defensive coordinator. Coach Ken Whisenhunt told the Arizona Republic he planned to have his staff filled out before the combine next week. The Republic also suggested Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler could be a consideration.

Doug Farrar of Field Gulls summarizes a scout.com interview with Missouri defensive tackle Evander "Ziggy" Hood. According to Hood, Seahawks brass and coaches grilled him to test his knowledge of the defense, including his teammates' responsibilities. The Seahawks' new defensive staff has put an emphasis on players knowing their teammates' assignments.

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts breaks down the team's needs on offense. He gives T.J. Duckett higher marks than Julius Jones.