Well I've finally managed to go back and review the chat Matt Maiocco had over at 49ers Webzone and Maiocco had plenty of insightful comments. The chat was presented by the Web Zone and 49ers Paradise and I managed to get myself involved at the semi-last minute. I had emailed 49ers Webzone about getting involved in roundtable discussions and they mentioned the chat. I realized there were plenty of questions you guys had based on some of the draft discussion and Matt was able to answer all of them and plenty more. I'll go into some of the major topics, but you can view the transcript here.
I got in several questions related to the defensive line draft results, Vernon Davis's role next year and the Keyshawn question:
Matt Maiocco: We don't know if Cohen would've lasted. I think they found a guy who played at the big-time level and does the things they want from that nose tackle spot. On decisions such as that, I tend to give the guys who did all the scouting the benefit of the doubt. Plus, they needed another guy to play that spot.
DavidFucillo asks: Did the team ever consider Paul Soliai, the DT out of Utah?
Matt Maiocco: I don't know for sure, but I suspect they didn't have him ranked as high as some teams. The reason I say that is because a week before the draft Scot McCloughan was asked about nose tackles. He voluntarily brought up Soliai's name. I don't he would've done that if they had him targeted.
DavidFucillo asks: Has Nolan considered utilizing Vernon Davis in the backfield to create matchup problems?
Matt Maiocco: Absolutely. He might not run plays at fullback, but he will certainly line up all over the field thorughout this season.
DavidFucillo asks: Is the Keyshawn Johnson interest in the 49ers just one-sided?
Matt Maiocco: The 49ers have ZERO interest in Keyshawn.
Maiocco addressed a variety of other issues:
- Alex Smith's continued development: he sees him finishing with a QB rating in the 80s and taking a solid step forward.
- Brandon Williams continued development: It seems he had a phenomenal mini-camp and could battle for the slot receiver position with Battle (assuming Lelie is the #2).
- There were several questions about Vernon Davis's attitude: Maiocco thinks he's got a chip on his shoulder to improve and that he's just a young, emotional guy. Here's hoping he doesn't turn into Jerramy Stevens, that's for sure.
- There were plenty of questions about Patrick Willis and his potential for development: It seems that he spent this camp mostly learning and while he looked unsure of himself, it was primarily because he has so much to learn.
- The most surprising thing was that there is some concern that Ray McDonald will sit out this season with his knee issues. I haven't had a chance to look further into that, but Maiocco thinks that even if he missed part of 2007, he, like Staley, is a weapon for the future.