As we head into Day 2 of the draft tomorrow, I'll certainly have plenty of thoughts then and going forward about a first day that has some excited, some decidedly NOT excited, and others somewhere in the middle.
In the meantime, Scot McCloughan held a press conference at the end of the day. Scot spoke about the Crabtree pick and where he'll fit in. He addressed the trade that has people all over the board. He spoke about some of the guys the 49ers passed on and he spoke about some of the options for Day 2 of the draft. We've got some of the transcript here, with the remainder after the jump.
RE: What was the reasoning behind the trade?
“The value of the pick. We had two players pinpointed in the five picks ahead of us, and they both were taken. We did not see a player of the value at that pick for us. Carolina called and sweetened the pot pretty good with next year’s one. I just don’t want to sit there and say, ‘Well, geez, it’s our pick, we’re going to take a player if we don’t think the value of the player is there.’ As everybody is well aware, ones are huge, especially, if we want to do anything with that pick anytime here out to next year, which of course, going into next draft with two No. 1 picks. A lot of things we’ve done, we’ve done in the past. It’s proved out to be good.”
RE: You guys are just a few players away. That second round pick and fourth round pick are two players that might be able to contribute next year.
“Might. Again, I think the depth of this draft isn’t as good as it’s been in the past. Just because we have a pick doesn’t mean we have to take somebody. We’re not just going to add a player just to add a player. He has to have value that helps us at that pick.”
RE: Talk about Crabtree, was there any way you imagined him falling to you? How quickly was that decision made?
“I thought a little bit about it, because of the fact that he did not work out at the combine. He had the foot surgery. I thought that would be the only reason that he would make it to us, in this year’s crop of players up there. But, I really didn’t think it would happen. That’s a long way for a guy like that to fall. ”
RE: Where was he on your board?
“He was high. I don’t want to get into specifics, but he was definitely one of the higher guys.”
RE: What do you like about him from a talent evaluators standpoint?
“Where can I start? The guys’ a two-year, one of the best receivers in college football, 40 touchdowns. I’m impressed with him. He’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Anquan Boldin in college. He’s got excellent hands and he’s got the physical attributes to play on the NFL level and to make plays. He’s a highly competitive guy who’s not afraid, whatsoever. There are faster guys in the draft, no doubt about it. There will be faster guys in the NFL. But he brings a unique quality to play physical and make plays on the NFL level.”
After the jump, Scott McC discusses some of the players the 49ers passed on, as well as more on Crabtree and some discussion about Day 2.
RE: With Brandon Jones coming in, Isaac Bruce coming back, Josh Morgan emerging, how much better are you at receiver today?
“A lot. In my opinion, we got the best receiver in the draft, hands down. Isaac’s getting older. It takes more than two or three, that’s for sure. He’s a rookie. He’s going to come in here and there’s going to be a learning curve for sure. But, again, I really like the pick. I’m very excited to have him in this organization.”
RE: When both receivers got past pick No. 7, is that when you knew you might get Crabtree?
“I didn’t know what would happen at eight. I knew it would be interesting, how it shook out. I felt pretty good about nine. I knew that he would have been the highest rated guy on Green Bay’s board, but with their depth at receiver and the need at other positions, I thought he would get by there. Once he got past eight, I got pretty excited.”
RE: Was he higher than Jeremy Maclin on your board?
“They’re different. He’s a bigger, more physical player. The thing about Maclin that intrigued, he had some return ability. Of course, had better top-end speed. I feel better about Crabtree from the standpoint of just coming out and being able to play, and play early and handle it – press coverage. He’s going to scare some guys because he has some physical strength. ”
RE: Did you care at all about the supposed diva image?
“As you guys are well aware we do tons of background work. We brought him in here, spent the entire day with him. We feel very comfortable about the kind of person he is. Again, it’s important to us to not just get a good football player but a good person to represent the 49ers, and we feel we got both in Michael Crabtree.”
RE: Did he face a lot of double coverage in that system?
“Well, they moved him around a lot. It’s unique. It’s a spread offense. The thing usually, the bigger-body guys usually aren’t as successful because they went on quickness, they went on change of direction. The thing that he was impressive about was the run-after-catch ability. He’s a tough guy to tackle and he’s not afraid to hit you instead of you hitting him. And, excellent hands. I think the 40 touchdowns speak volumes about what kind of player he can be for us. ”
RE: Coach Singletary made it clear there was some consideration given to Michael Oher. Did the choice come down to between those two, either Crabtree or Oher?
“He was one of the guys up there that we talked about. Again, once we got to 10 and Crabtree was there, it was over. He was our pick. I waited for a little while for some phone calls, but for me to trade out of that with Crabtree, it would have had to have been the trade of the century.”
RE: Do you think that it will stick in the back of his mind that he was the second receiver picked today?
“I do. I think you saw his reaction when Heyward-Bey went. You want him to and guys have done that come in with a chip on their shoulder and proved it. That wasn’t a deciding factor whatsoever because he’s the type of guy that I expect to be a good player, but yeah, I guarantee you that he wants to come in and prove something.”
RE: Because of his strength, is he a lot faster with pads on compared to other guys?
“Well, I wouldn’t say a lot faster because once you’re receiving you are talking about vertical threat you see a guy that gets off quick and has a top end and he gets to it right away; He’s not that type of a guy but the thing he has is that he has quickness in and out of breaks and then he has the strength to break tackles which a guy with speed who is undersized catches it, they’re going to tackle him once they get their hands on him. With him he’s going to make his yards by breaking a tackle then going another 10-15 yards.”
RE: Does this turn your depth chart at wide receiver upside down a little bit? Is he a guy that can come in and start immediately?
“He’s got to come in here the same as Patrick Willis, we took him at 11 same thing as Vernon Davis same thing with anybody that we take in the first [round]. They have to come in and earn a spot. The value of the player that I think that he is I think that he’ll earn it and earn it pretty quick but it’s not going to be given to him and you talked about some of the receivers that we have and we feel pretty good about the group as a whole but we do expect him to produce and we do expect him to help us this year.”
RE: Where do you see fitting in through this year?
“I see him playing. I see him coming out here…He probably won’t be 100 percent until training camp with the foot. I see him competing for a job [and] playing time right away but again, it’s not going to be handed to him, he has to prove that he deserves it because the other guys are here working hard. Again, I think that he’ll step up to the challenge and prove to us that we made the right pick.”
RE: Does he project to split end?
“More [at] X.”
RE: That’s where you have Josh Morgan. Do you want your two young stars playing the same position?
“If they’re good football players, most definitely. They’ve got to get out there and play. No one is going to wait around for them. We expect big strides from Josh [Morgan] but you know what, Jerry [Sullivan] has an idea where he wants guys to line up and he want the ‘X’ to be a more physical guy that can beat press coverage.”
RE: Wasn’t Crabtree a ‘Z’ at Texas Tech?
“He was all over the place. It was a spread [offense] but the one thing that’s unique about these guys coming out it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve because they don’t know how to run precise routes, they don’t understand the route tree the way they need to because there not taught that in college anymore. I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. We don’t have a problem with his learning ability and I think with his athleticism he’s going to be able to pick it up pretty quickly; how to run routes and with Jerry Sullivan he’ll have no choice but to learn.”
RE: Are you saying that Crabtree could be more physical than Morgan at that split end position right now?
“I think that they’re both physical and that’s why they’re considered ‘Xs’. I think that they’re both considered guys that can beat the press coverage.”
RE: What do you hope to get [out of the draft] tomorrow?
“We have a [third round pick] two 5’s and two sevens. Good football players and were not going to take a guy just to take a guy. There has to be the value of the pick there. If we have to trade again, we’ll trade again. There’s no reason why we wouldn’t trade up so we can go and try to get someone that’s sliding our way. But we want to have good football players and the value will be there. I feel good about it and there’s going to be good players taken tomorrow that end up being good players in the NFL and we have to make sure to identify the right ones and take them.”