McCloughan's Mailbag - March 20

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Check out our tenth round of questions for General Manager Scot McCloughan. If your question wasn't selected this round, please try again. Keep in mind that due to NFL rules, McCloughan cannot answer questions about any potential free agents and will refrain from giving detailed information on any draft-eligible players.

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

Q: Good Morning Scot. Why in the world is Reggie Smith not competing at the safety spot? Reggie can be a Pro-Bowl FS. Thank You. - Mario in Monterey
A: Our plan right now is to move him to safety knowing that he has background from college playing both corner and safety. The best position for him on our roster, not just this year but in the future, is safety. Can he play free or strong safety? I think it can be either one. I think he'll line up at the position that gives us the best depth and competition. He will be at safety this year, but we still know that he has played corner and he can play corner so it's nice to have that versatility.

Q: Scot, coming out last year, I thought that Chilo Rachal had all the tools to be a top notch right tackle in the NFL. Any chance you have been working on that with him this offseason? - David Meriwether
A: We tried him at right tackle early last year, but he's a guard. That's what he played in college and that's what he is. He does have some physical attributes that make you think tackle, but for him to be an impact player for us, he will play guard. The thing that's nice is that he has good size and that makes people think he can move outside, but it's a different animal out there. The tackles are very important, but the guards are important too and we feel Chilo can be an excellent guard for us.

Q: Hi Scot. I appreciate your candidness with our questions. Kentwan Balmer was a first rounder yet his play was more like a defensive lineman with more potential then talent. Do you believe he can develop into an outstanding player? - Orlando
A: Outstanding is a strong word. When we took him late in round one, we knew we were getting a big-bodied guy who has a high motor and some physical skills to be a good player. I think as the season went along, you saw him get better. I think in year two, you're going to see a good football player. Is he going to be great? We'll see, but he has the physical skills, size and temperament to be a good defensive lineman in the NFL.

Q: Hi, why does the NFL allow teams to only have 45 of there 53 players active and available on game day? Have you thought about proposing that this limit be increased at the upcoming NFL meetings? Thanks. – Bob
A: That's been talked about ever since I've been in the league. Why not have more players active since you have 53 on the roster? It used to be less than 45. Right now it's at 45, but that could change. Having 45 players active for the game is enough, but if you're paying 53, you would think you'd be able to use them or at least have 48 or 49 active. However, it's enough to have 45, but it's unique to have eight guys who you're paying to work not suit up on game day. The rule is the same for every team so no one has an advantage or disadvantage.



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