McCloughan's Mailbag 1-23

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Check out our second round of questions for General Manager Scot McCloughan. If your question wasn't selected this round, please try again.

Please submit your questions to askmccloughan@niners.nfl.com 

Q: Scot, congratulations on a strong finish regarding the 2008 season. I also want to congratulate you personally for the young talent you've acquired over the last few years as many of these young guys are maturing into good NFL players. I'd like to know more about the process of evaluating young talent at the college level. I realize this may not be an exact science and in this business you'll hit on a few guys and miss on a few. Is there one thing in the evaluation process that can cause you to lean one way or the other concerning how a guy might project as an NFL player? Do you believe the offensive schemes utilized by many major college programs today are having an affect as far as giving a false sense of how an offensive player's skill might translate to the next level? Thank you for taking my question. – Channing

A: Yes there is. When you see a player on tape and when you watch them in person, it's pretty evident whether they have athletic skills and if they have the ability to be a good football player. The one thing that separates the great ones from the good ones is their passion for the game. They need to have the passion to get better, the passion to work hard, the passion to do the little extra things to become an elite player. In response to the second part of your question, I think the college schemes do have an effect on projecting how a guy will play at this level, especially at the quarterback position. If you draft a guy who played in a spread offense, you have to begin by teaching him some of the basic things a quarterback needs to do. You have to show him how to address the huddle, walk to the line of scrimmage and get under center. Quarterback is the position most effected because you have to retrain them on how to be a quarterback at the NFL level.

Q: Dear Mr. McCloughan, I've been a 49er fan for over 29 years and I'm yearning for the team to get back to domination not just competitiveness. I just have a couple of questions. Alex Smith states he would like to finish what he started. If he would take a fair deal, would you keep him and have him compete with Shawn Hill? Also do you think we should implement a two running back system (which would help Frank Gore's durability) and also fit the new smash-mouth style Coach Singletary states he wants the team to become? Best success to you, Coach Singletary and the Niners. Thanks for your time.  - Brian McMahon, 49er Fan Forever

A: No doubt about it. Our whole philosophy at the 49ers is to have as much competition at every position that we can. I still believe Alex Smith is going to be a good quarterback in the NFL and if we can have him back competing with Shaun, we'd love to do it. A two running back system will work. I think nowadays you have to have that type of system in the NFL, especially with our approach on offense – being a physical running team. You don't just need a change of pace guy, but you need two backs that can have production. If you just have one, you're going to wear him down. It's a long season so if you want to be a playoff contender and get to the Super Bowl, you're going to need two backs to get there.

Q: Hi Scot. How many compensatory picks will the team have in this year's draft? If known, what rounds will they be in? I believe compensatory picks are based on free agents lost, can you clarify? How many total picks will the team have in this year's draft? Congratulations on a great second half of the season and I can tell the team is moving in the right direction. Thank you. -Jack, Sacramento
A: We will have two compensatory picks. We're not sure about which rounds yet, but I have a pretty good feeling of where they're going to be.

Q: Hi Scot. Entering the upcoming draft I was wondering if you were familiar with UNC wide receiver, Hakeem Nicks? I think he would make a great 3rd round draft pick. He's 6-1, 210 lbs., and runs a 4.5. He catches in traffic and has great "after the catch" and "after the hit" ability. Good luck next year.  - David from San Mateo

A: I don't want to get too in depth on any individuals right now. I can tell you that I think he's a good football player. We'll evaluate him the same way we do all the good football players in the draft process.

Q: Scott, congratulations on a great second half to the season and all the great additions to the team. My question is simple. Julius Peppers wants out of Carolina to play in a 3-4 scheme. What are the chances we go after him in the off-season? Thanks! - LuisCarmona, Anaheim, CA

A: We're not allowed by NFL rules to comment on players who are on other teams. I appreciate your email, but I can't comment on him or any of the other guys who may be free agents.


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