San Francisco 49ers

49ers mailbag: What is the plan at guard? Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds?

San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Joshua Garnett (65) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Los Angeles.
San Francisco 49ers offensive guard Joshua Garnett (65) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Los Angeles. AP

Joe Brown‏ @jb49ers80 How do you think the guard position looks come opening day? Still seems like a big need right now, on both sides.

ANSW: Yes, you could even make the argument that it's grown a little worse since last year considering that a 16-game starter in Brandon Fusco is now with the Falcons. The counter argument to that would be this: Joshua Garnett will enter the offseason competition healthier and better suited for the offense than he was last year while Erik Magnuson has a year in the system under his belt after transitioning from college tackle last year. The 49ers also could be eying the draft. Does Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson slip to No. 9? (Right now, I think the Giants take him at No. 2 overall; but the Giants could trade out of that spot). Or maybe the 49ers take their offensive tackle of the future, Texas' Connor Williams, and line him up at guard until there's a need at tackle. **John Lynch must follow this blog very closely. Shortly after it posted, the 49ers signed free-agent guard Jonathan Cooper. Now that's a front office that listens to its fan base***

Os Cruz‏ @ThatOsCruz Hey Matt, as you mentioned in your article yesterday, with Brown still rehabbing an injury, Gilliam and (Darrell) Williams will get snaps at RT. You also mentioned that Magnuson can play every spot on the OL. Does he get a chance at RT?

ANSW: I think the 49ers feel his future is as an interior lineman. That was the plan last year, however, and circumstances were such that he ended up playing some tackle. Think of him as a younger Zane Beadles. He's a guard who, in a pinch, can play the other spots.

Christopher Cain‏ @C_Allan_Cain Why keep Zane "the turnstile" Beadles and let Fusco go?

ANSW: Beadles has nice versatility (see: above answer). He also happens to be repped by the same agency that reps Joe Staley, Weston Richburg and Daniel Kilgore.

The 49ers still have $45 million in salary cap space, among the top 10 in the NFL, and that money is being saved to re-sign their own players. San Francisco 49ers insider Matt Barrows tells you who the top 3 candidates are for re-signing.

Perry‏ @AnthonyPerry925 Is it becoming more likely that the 49’ers trade out of the 9? Seem’s like while we plugged some holes, we still need to fill out the roster with depth. More picks could help that?

ANSW: I'm sure John Lynch would love to trade down a bit and collect an earlier second-round pick than he has at the moment and perhaps another first-round pick next year. But it also seems that the teams most likely to trade ahead -- teams in need of a quarterback -- have to go up higher than No. 9 to do so.

DeAaronHimself‏ @aaronhimself How many spots are realistically left on the roster?

ANSW: Well, technically 19 since the 49ers currently have 71 on their offseason roster. But I think there are 53-man spots to be taken at wide receiver (two undrafted guys, Kendrick Bourne and Victor Bolden Jr., were on last year's squad), running back (McKinnon and Breida are the only experienced rushers), cornerback, guard and pass rusher, where there are a lot of bodies but no sure things.

Alexander C Sandoval‏ @ATG_ASeR1 So all this talk about getting a WR but I believe Kendrick Bourne will have a break out season...wwats the feel wit the organization on this?

Tony Yong‏ @tonys_username With the 3rd pick, would the 49ers consider getting a tall Red Zone threat like Equanimeous St. Brown?

ANSW: Shanahan loves Bourne, sees great potential in him. But he's not someone who would prevent the team from adding another young receiver in the middle rounds of the draft. … To: Tony. First of all, great job on the spelling of "Equanimeous." After the acquisitions of Kyle Juszczyk, Pita Taumoepenu and Jeremiah Attaochu, I am decidedly against drafting Mr. St. Brown. To answer your question, yes, I think St. Brown and several other bigger-bodied receivers are in play for the 49ers around the third round of the draft. My wild guess on how the draft will go:

1. Edge or OT

2. cornerback

3. WR or RB

3. RB or WR

4. BPA

5. BPA

6. BPA

7. BPA

7. BPA

George Matthew‏ @GeorgeMatthew2 Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith? Both sitting there at 9. Who do we take?

ANSW: I know there's a massive Roquan Smith Fan Club in Northern California, but my sense is that Tremaine Edmunds would be the winner. He's younger, bigger, more versatile. He could line up as the starting SAM linebacker as a rookie whereas Smith is a Will linebacker only and as such would start the season behind Malcolm Smith and Reuben Foster. (Yes, I know there's a good chance Foster misses some games this season, but do you spend a Top 10 draft pick on a hedge?).

BLANK‏ @Devin_Blankship So we’ve reached the rationalization portion of processing our grief from Virginia’s loss, eh?

ANSW: Loss -- or death, if you will -- is an intrinsic part of the life cycle. A basketball game, or any game for that matter, is symbolic of life, is indeed a microcosm of life. Therefore, if one participates in a game as a player or viewer, one must expect a certain amount of loss. It's inevitable. I understand that now.

David Cochrane‏Verified account @CochraneCBC Do you now flinch when you see a Joe Montana jersey?

ANSW: I crash Sweet 16 parties by grabbing the microphone and giving depressing speeches about how only misery and disappointment await you in life.

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