San Francisco 49ers

49ers mailbag: Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport? Battle lines being drawn

Boston College defensive end Harold Landry waits to be introduced on senior day before a game against North Carolina State on Nov. 11, 2017, in Boston.
Boston College defensive end Harold Landry waits to be introduced on senior day before a game against North Carolina State on Nov. 11, 2017, in Boston. AP

Keval Patel‏ @keval81 Why do most mock draft experts seem to be so much higher on Landry than Davenport? Davenport was bigger, faster, and stronger at the combine. Has bend + violent hands. Landry looks like he has one move: bend. Not like BC plays powerhouse programs either.

ANSW: First of all, how dare you insult the University of Virginia? (Insulting Duke and North Carolina is fine and, in fact, is encouraged.) Second, the term "mock-draft expert" is a bit of an oxymoron. Sort of like "YouTube star." Third, I agree with you. Harold Landry definitely has the superior public relations staff of the two. The few NFL experts I've talked to on the matter all like Marcus Davenport because he is more physical with a bigger upside. In fact, some of the evaluators I've spoken with have Arden Key rated ahead of Landry. When the Path to the Draft crew picked the 49ers' first three selections on Monday, they had Davenport going at No. 9. (49ers Webzone transcribed the segment). The 49ers, of course, worked out Davenport at his pro day. They only sent a regional scout to Landry's pro day. Does that prove they like one and not the other? Absolutely not. It may be they have more questions about one vs. the other. There are plenty of things we don't know about all these guys – off-field issues, etc. – and it will be interesting to see how the pass rushers play out on April 26 and 27.

Jon J.‏ @JonathonJ1997 Does Denzel Ward have the skills to play CB under Saleh's system? I know height is a concern for some, but that's not necessarily a deal-breaker.

Jerrod Robinson‏ @bathebay How mandatory do you think the rule of cbs being big is? Keep seeing Ward mocked at 9 but would they actually take him?

ANSW: I've been wrestling with this one myself. He was a little longer than expected when measured at the combine, coming in at a hair under 5-foot-11 and with 31 1/4-inch arms. The 49ers prefer their cornerbacks to be bigger and longer than that; all of the players there now are 6-1 or taller. Would the 49ers use a top 10 draft pick on someone who doesn't fit their profile? Or is Ward good enough and physical enough to make an exception? My guess – and it's just a guess – is that it's the former.

Ronnie D‏ @DmgzBmt45 Would Derwin James be a good option at 9 given that Tartt is on his last year and hasn't stayed healthy?

ANSW: James definitely is in the conversation. If the 49ers are trying to re-create Seattle's fast, violent, swagger-filled defense, then James certainly would fit the part. The question is whether he's a free or strong safety. I think he's more of a strong safety. Those guys seem easier to find than the free safeties. The 49ers could have drafted Jamal Adams last year, for example, but passed. They have Tartt. They probably could have Eric Reid back if they want. Chanceller James looked good as a rookie. Adrian Colbert could play there in a pinch. The team has options.

Tyler Teufel‏ @tyler_teufel Thinking bout dream scenarios here ... take Fitzpatrick at 9, trade back into the first for Landry at the back end. Gives us our versions of Earl Thomas and Vic Beasley.

ANSW: Tyler wins dream draft! This is a good scenario. But what are you giving up to get back into the first? That's a pretty big leap considering the 49ers' second-rounder is at No. 59.

Sean Morgan‏ @gamerollerb Does Joshua Garnett just being skinnier/faster make him a fit for the scheme or does he still have a long road if he wants to fit?

ANSW: Well, we shall see. Garnett's confidence level appears to be off the charts, and he seems to be champing at the bit to prove himself. I know Kyle Shanahan said newcomer Jonathan Cooper would start out as the team's right guard when practices commence in the spring. But he still could be recovering from his MCL surgery, which would give Garnett first dibs at that spot.

Rob Carter‏ @roberob916 Did Kendrick Bourne’s improved play at the end of the season make Aldrick Robinson dispensable? Haven’t heard the staff talking about him much.

ANSW: The way I see it, Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin and Trent Taylor are locks for the 53-man roster. There probably is room for three more receivers, and the 49ers will take the best/healthiest from the remaining group, which includes Bourne, Robinson, Victor Bolden, Max McCaffrey and anyone else the team picks up between now and September. Which is to say, there's room for both. (But not much room.)

Max‏ @MrFrizzleFry If you had to guess, which games on our upcoming schedule do you think will net prime time slots?

ANSW: Well, considering the networks must fill prime-time slots on Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays these days, the 49ers could show up against any of their opponents. That's one of my many critiques of prime-time NFL – the matchups no longer are special, it's no longer must-watch television. But I digress. To answer your question, I think the NFL *loves* the idea of a burgeoning rivalry between the Rams and 49ers. The Seahawks always are interesting. The Raiders play here only once every eight years. The Packers, Vikings and Chiefs also are compelling.

Anthony Mendez‏ @AMendez08 Not a first round question but #AnyChance the #49ers are targeting WR Equanimeous St. Brown?

ANSW: Equanimeous. Roquan. Minkah. K.D. Cannon. I'm beginning to think you guys love players for their names. (Although Harold Landry does not fit this theory; he sounds like your dad's accountant.)

Brian M‏ @AFNinerFan Matt, what's your personal favorite part of draft weekend?

ANSW: The beat reporters make dollar bets on whom the 49ers will take. I always come away with, like, $7. #bottleofwinebaby!

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