Around the NFC West: 49ers and drafting a QB

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says the 49ers use pre-draft visits to answer lingering questions about a prospect. Lynch on Mark Sanchez: "Possibly the most intriguing prospect because of the position he plays. With the leadership a quarterback demands, having him visit is always a good idea, but with Mike Nolan gone, who's going to run him through ridiculous drills to test his ability to blindly follow authority?"

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee doesn't think the 49ers will draft Sanchez. Barrows: "My read on the subject is that the 49ers feel they have three quarterbacks perfectly capable of running the type of offense that Jimmy Raye is cooking up for this season. Remember, Raye enjoyed his greatest success with Elvis Grbac at the helm. Remember also that Shaun Hill is 7-3 as a starter and that the 49ers' decision makers still believe in Alex Smith."

Revenge of the Birds wonders whether Plaxico Burress' release makes the Giants more eager to trade for the Cardinals' Anquan Boldin. Just about every player can be had for the right price. What would the Cardinals take for Boldin? What would a receiver-needy team offer for him? We've never heard anything tangible on either subject, which probably means the Cardinals haven't been shopping Boldin.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times expects significant improvement from the Seahawks in 2009. O'Neil: "I think the Seahawks figure to bounce back significantly. I expect the defense to be greatly improved under a new coaching staff and an attack-oriented philosophy. Whether the Seahawks can bounce back to the top of the division will depend upon Matt Hasselbeck's health. Will his back hold up for the whole season?"

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune asks 10 questions heading into the Seahawks' upcoming minicamp. One answer: "With [Mike] Holmgren's long shadow gone, this is team president and general manager Tim Ruskell's team now. And whether or not the team rebounds from a lackluster season largely falls on his shoulders. If Seattle returns to its playoff form, he likely will get a lot of the credit. However, if the Seahawks continue their slide, Ruskell, who makes the personnel decisions, probably will get the lion's share of the blame with Holmgren now gone. So this season is an important one for Ruskell."

Charean Williams of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram says the Seahawks are among the teams to have worked out Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee.

Michael Steffes of Seahawk Addicts considers McGee a likely late-round choice who could spend time on a practice squad in 2009.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams cornerback Tye Hill. Thomas: "Hill obviously is behind that schedule as he prepares for his fourth NFL season. He had a decent rookie year, opening the season at nickel back but eventually starting 10 games following injuries to veterans Fakhir Brown and Travis Fisher. Hill shared the team lead in interceptions (three) on a Rams pass defense that ranked eighth in the NFL. But in the two seasons that followed, injuries prevented Hill from enjoying the breakout season that he -- and the Rams' coaching staff -- had anticipated."

Also from Thomas: Knee issues might have delayed Gus Frerotte's signing with the Rams, clearing the way for Kyle Boller to become the Rams' backup quarterback.

VanRam of Turf Show Times thinks the Rams' run defense needed help at middle linebacker and strong safety as much as along the defensive line. New strong safety James Butler is in place.