San Francisco 49ers

49ers' post-draft mailbag: Who starts at 'Mike'? Is there room for Eric Reid?

BYU's Fred Warner was drafted 70th overall by the 49ers.
BYU's Fred Warner was drafted 70th overall by the 49ers. AP file

Mr.Varnado‏ @Dawgy916 Are the 49ers expecting Toomer to be a starter?

ANSW: Mr. Varnado is referring to Korey Toomer, who started eight games last year for the Chargers and whom the 49ers added in free agency. I'd put it this way: If Reuben Foster is back in the fold midsummer or sooner, he and Malcolm Smith (assuming they are healthy) are locks to start. If he's not? Then I think it's a good competition among Toomer, Brock Coyle and third-round draft pick Fred Warner. Don't sleep on the rookie, who is fast, smart and reminds some of Bobby Wagner.

Aaron‏ @Tnniner Fred Warner seems like an underrated pick, if he beats out Malcolm Smith does Malcolm just get cut?

ANSW: Malcolm Smith has two things going for him. 1.) He's Robert Saleh's guy; Saleh loves him. 2.) He's a veteran who knows the defense. That's a big plus on such a young team. Yes, you could say that about another ex-Seahawk, Brock Coyle, too, but Smith's speed makes him an especially good fit for this defense. He certainly will make a lot of money, but the 49ers can afford it right now. Next year, however, may become a question mark for Smith, especially if Warner excels.

Amar Shergill‏ @truijan How do you feel about Eric Reid's chances to come back with so many drafted DBs?

ANSW: I wrote about this and other draft thoughts the other day. Yes, they drafted several defensive backs, including a strong safety in Marcell Harris from Florida. But both Harris (Achilles) and another candidate, Chanceller James (ACL) are coming back from injuries and won't be ready until training camp. Jaquiski Tartt is the clear starter there, but my point is that there is room for backup. On the flip side, Reid would not have a starring role or a big contract, both of which he is seeking.

Eric‏ @alamedarules With no RB drafted, who is the favorite to make the 53 man roster at the 3rd RB behind McKinnon and Breida? Joe Williams? McNichols? Other?

ANSW: The undrafted player, Jeffery Wilson, is interesting. A contingent of 49ers flew to Texas to work him out and running backs coach Bobby Turner kept in contact throughout the draft process. That is, they had their eye on him the whole way. That shows how well they think he fits their scheme. That battle should be a good one. And don't forget Raheem Mostert. He was the team's No. 3 last year because he was so good on special teams. A No. 3 runner has to have value elsewhere and Mostert has that.

Jerrod Robinson‏ @bathebay Other than Edge, Guard was another position I was surprised to see neglected, especially with how deep it was. Is that confidence in Garnett, Tomlinson, and Magnuson?

ANSW: Yes. After, say, the second round, the 49ers figured that anyone they brought in wouldn't be able to beat out the group you mentioned (Plus Jonathan Cooper and Zane Beadles).

JimmyGOATroppolo‏ @NinerJD Thoughts on Richie James' chances at making the roster/the team keeping six WRs?

ANSW: They kept six last year: Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson, Kendrick Bourne and Victor Boldin. James obviously will have to beat out one of those guys listed to make the 53-man squad. Assuming Dante Pettis makes the squad, James would have to be better than two of the above receivers.

Rob Carter‏ @roberob916 What is the difference between the move TE and the in line TE, and can anyone currently on the roster play both? If so, is “Celek time” up?

ANSW: One is a better blocker and plays next to the offensive tackle. The other plays in space (slot, wideout, etc.). They all should be able to do both, though George Kittle probably has the best all-around skills of the 49ers' group. I'd say that Garrett Celek is safe. He's the 49ers' best in-line blocker and his teammates loooooooooooooove him. The most unassuming guy you'll ever meet, plays hurt, does the grunt work, etc., etc.

phillip‏ @PhillipPhipps What draft pick makes the biggest impact this season? Who’s your sleeper to surprise?

ANSW: It may be that only one rookie, Mike McGlinchey, starts. I'll go with Warner -- he seems to have all the traits to excel in this system. Watch Jullian Taylor, the seventh rounder from Temple. He makes a lot of plays in the backfield and seems to be a guy who could spell DeForest Buckner at three technique in coming years.

William Clements‏ @wgclements If redshirting draft picks actually worked Belichick would be doing it. Verdad?

ANSW: Si. Also, Trent Baalke was Captain Redshirt and look where that got him.

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