During our mock draft it was not too difficult to decide on Gosder Cherilus at that point considering the offensive line need. However, while doing my due diligence on other options, I was intrigued by Branden Albert, a guard out of Virginia. I mention that now because I was checking out Matt Barrow's blog and he mentioned Brandon Albert today. Barrow's went to Virginia and had their pro day today, thus the mention. He didn't mention drafting Albert, but more that Albert reminded people of Larry Allen in terms of size and the fact that he wears #71.
There is no question that Branden Albert should turn into a very good guard in the NFL. The Scouts had plenty of good things to say about him:
So this brings me to a couple of questions. The first deals with guards in general. The only way Larry Allen returns to the 49ers is if he doesn't retire AND he takes a sizable pay cut. They let Justin Smiley go rather than pay him a hefty chunk of change and it seems like there is an agreement that the front office does not want to pay big money to guards. So what of drafting guards high? Late first rounders are not going to require obscene cash like high first rounders, so maybe it's not as big a deal.
The second questions deals with a potential draft strategy. How's about taking a guy like Cherilus in the first round and if Albert is available, moving up from our current 2nd rounder to get him? Todd McShay's latest mock draft has Albert going 23rd overall to the Steelers. While Albert could maybe drop down to our second, it seems like his stock is on the rise. Why do I suggest this since we have an assortment of needs to fill? Ignoring the fact that high draft picks don't always work out, if we were able to grab Cherilus and Albert, combine them with Staley and potentially 3/5 of our offensive line is set for the next decade. I doubt the 49ers go that route, but you have to admit that it's at least a little bit intriguing right? It doesn't help our issues at WR and on the defensive line, but it would certainly be nice to not have to worry about the o-line for the foreseeable future. I don't have exact details for working this out since Albert is actually projected ahead of Cherilus, but I think you generally get where I'm going with this.
I'm not saying this is necessarily what I want the 49ers to do. Rather, I look at this as just one more option to consider. If they were to make something like this happen, I can't say I'd be completely down on it. Of course, based on the way Albert is moving in mock drafts it doesn't seem like a likely trade, but you never know. We can talk about what wide receiver to take with our second round pick until the cows come home. I figure why not mix it up a little and get creative with our draft options.