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A Niner Blog: Draft Press Conference


General manager Scot McCloughan addressed the media on Thursday to discuss this weekend's NFL Draft. The 49ers have six picks to use this weekend, including the 29th overall pick in the first round.  Here are some quick updates from the presser. Check back later today for a complete transcript!

The first question asked was if he'd consider trading out of the 29th overall pick. McCloughan said that trading up would be slim, but that he would absolutely listen to offers to trade back.

McCloughan said that he does need to address inside linebacker from a depth standpoint, and that he could do so in the first round if that player was there.

He said it would be great if they come out of the draft with a player who could start on the offensive line. He said getting another starting offensive lineman would be "great." McCloughan said he's pinpointed who he expects to start at tackle next year and that it's probably 4 or 5. He said  he'd need to get lucky for one of those five to fall to the 49ers at 29 and that he doesn't anticipate trading up to get one.

Lamont of The Bone's morning show just threw out the Chad Johnson trade possibility. McCloughan didn't really touch it. The Bengals have made it clear they have no intention of trading the unhappy receiver.

Asked about attending the Pro Day for linebacker Quentin Groves, McCloughan admitted that he went to the workout because Groves does "intrigue" him. McCloughan likes the production Groves had in the SEC and believes he's unique.

McCloughan said he has had continued positive communication with free agent LB Takeo Spikes, who visited the 49ers a few weeks ago. He said that he wants to wait to see how the draft goes, and indicated that Spikes is not in a hurry to sign anywhere either.

McCloughan said he has not spoken with guard Larry Allen, but that "he's still a good football player," and that "if Larry wants to be a 49er, he'll still be a 49er." Probed whether or not Larry would then be a starter, McCloughan answered, "he'll compete for it, just like everybody else."

Given today's news that David Baas tore his pectoral muscle and is expected to miss part of training camp, McCloughan said that Tony Wragge would be penciled in for now as the starter.

This presser will probably end before much longer as McCloughan said that he needs to get upstairs to field the phone calls that have been pouring in from other teams today in terms of moving around. "Everybody is getting a little nervous about the ten minutes (instead of 15 between each pick in the first round). I'm not at all because I think you can get it done, but I have had more calls this year than ever."

McCloughan would not rule out any positions that he would definitely not touch in the Draft, but he did say that taking a quarterback would require the most discussion. He also said he would not likely take a kicker, punter or long snapper.

McCloughan said that the 49ers board is set right now, and that the remaining discussions at this point include updates with the 49ers medical staff.

Last year, McCloughan said he had 17 players rated as first-round players. This year 19 players have first-round grades. He said he does expect one of those 19 to still be there at 29 since the 49ers set the board for the 49ers, not the rest of the league. The 19 does not include Jake Long, who has already been selected by the Dolphins.

Asked if his role running the draft meetings has been any different than the past two years, McCloughan answered that it has not. He said that he has always directed the draft meetings, first with his scouts and then with the coaching staff.

And that is a wrap as far as the presser.

In other 49ers news, the team has learned that cornerback Donald Strickland was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of public intoxication and resisting arrest. The team stated that they are aware of the situation and are gathering information before they make any further comment.

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