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Singletary's Notebook: April 23



Opening Comments:**"Today, we had two extra picks, added two more players added to the roster on the defensive side of the ball. [S] Taylor Mays, I'm very excited about him, excited about the upside that the young man has. I had a chance to talk to him on the phone and I'm sure he's disappointed that he didn't get picked earlier, but I'm thankful that he had the chance to be here. This is the guy that wanted to be a 49er. This is the guy that I think can help us. We are just going to have to coach him up and we'll go from there. [LB] Navarro Bowman, when you look at this kid on film, a lot of things jump out at you. He's always going to the football. He uses his hands very well, does not spend a lot of time getting locked on the lineman and tussling with those guys. He's going to the football. A very good football player and I'm very excited to get him where we did."

On where he sees Bowman playing:"Right now, he's going to come in and add depth. We were able to get [LB] Scott McKillop last year. He came in and he's still developing. He's going to come in and he's going to do the same thing. At the very beginning, he's going to help out on special teams and work his tail off to learn the defense, some of the things that we do, some of the techniques, the skills, the tools, all of those things. Sometimes it just takes a little while, but I'm excited about him and we'll see what happens."

On whether he's a MIKE linebacker:"I just talked to him and I asked him how much he weighed and he said he weighed about 240. He could play TED or MIKE at that weight."

On whether he is someone that they did a thorough background search and were satisfied with what he found:"He was one of the guys that we really set a personal interview with at the combine and sat down and talked with him and really worked our way through that. I think after that interview, I felt good about the possibilities of taking him. So I'm sure he has worked through some of those issues and has matured. Just excited to get that behind him and move forward."

On whether he schedules interviews that have those question marks:"Well, first and foremost, we want to schedule interviews with guys that we are interested in and I think sometimes, most of the guys that you interview that are coming out of college have some kind of issue. You can grade them, whether it's a level 10 or level 1. We do a lot of homework, the scouts do a great job of finding out a lot of information beforehand, and if we are interested in a guy as a football player, we want to interview him. Oh by the way, if something has come up here and there, we find out and we question the kid about it and a lot of times you can tell whether the kid is still doing those things or if he's put those things behind him and moved forward. It's a very interesting time. It's only 15 minutes, but it's amazing what you can find out in 15 minutes."

On Taylor Mays being the size of a linebacker:"I think Taylor Mays is one of those guys that I really don't know what he was asked to do at USC. I think when you look at the film and you see the guy, he's back 20 yards, it's pretty amazing. When he came in and we had him for the interview there were just some things that he was just not asked to do. Sometimes,I think as coaches, you assume that they can't do it. But I'm excited about him. Anytime you find a guy that has the intangibles that he does, just the ability to move and being able to have the range that he has. I think our defensive backs coaches, Johnnie Lynn, [Vance Joseph] V.J., will get their hands on him and get some work done. We'll see exactly what we have, all of that potential, put it in place and make him the best football player that he can be. The one thing I know is he's hungry. He wants to be a great football player, and he wants to be a 49er. That's really huge and I'm very excited about that."

On whether Taylor Mays has the intangibles:"I think so, I really do."

On whether Taylor Mays was drafted for his athleticism more than what was on film:"Well, I think when you look at some of these guys, you end up drafting them because they can run a little faster. You sit down and you talk to your position coaches and ask the same question that we did when we talked to [offensive line] coach [Mike] Solari about [Guard Mike] Iupati, can he do it? When V.J. sits down and Johnnie Lynn sits down and talks to Taylor Mays, they came away from that conversation realizing that coach, this guy is willing to do all of the things that we need him to do. Not only is he willing to do them, when you look at his workout, you look at the way his hips can move, you look at some of the things he can do, we know he can do those things, it's just a matter of getting him to do it."

On Taylor Mays saying he has the biggest chip on his shoulder in the draft and being motivated:"Everything has to be put in perspective. I remember going through the draft when I felt I had done everything in college that I could possibly do to be a first round pick. When they tell you that you're just not tall enough, you kick every tire you can find on every car you can find. Everything else gets in the way. You probably say a lot of silly things just out of hurt. But the most important thing is you put it behind you and understand the opportunity at hand. There are a lot of guys that got drafted the first day, but they won't play very long and they won't be very good football players. There are other guys that get drafted or may not get drafted at all that will be in the hall of fame. I think it's very important for a player to come into the league to understand that."

On whether he used the slight of being drafted in the second round as fuel early on in his career:"Oh absolutely."

On how long that motivation lasted:"I don't think it ever went away."

On what S Taylor Mays said earlier:"What he said, I don't know – and I said this a little while ago – I don't know what the relationship is between he and [Seahawks Head Coach] Pete [Carroll]. You put yourself in his shoes, I can only imagine. I played for a guy for a number of years and whether you deserve to be picked or not deserve to be picked, it's just one of those things, 'Well, wait a minute. I thought I was your guy.' And when it doesn't happen, it's got to hurt. I can't imagine what that – I'm thankful I never had to go through that. But I know what he said. I hear what he said. I'm just thankful that I think he did the best job that he could possibly do without saying something that was a low blow."

On why a potential Top 10 pick was still available at 49:"For a lot of the reasons that I just talked about. When you turn on the film, when you look at him play, first of all, he's not in the box. He's not close to the line of scrimmage. And, whoever it was, the coordinator, just decided, 'Hey, we're going to put him back in the middle of the field 20 yards back and let him play.' I think for us, I think Taylor Mays is a guy that has a ton of potential. And, our job is going to be to make sure that we help him utilize it as best he can."

On whether he is a starter from Day 1:"No, I can't say that. None of these guys are going to be starters from Day 1. They've got to come in and earn it."

On whether he envisions Mays as an in-the-box guy initially:"Once we get him here and get our hands on him, we'll see exactly what he is. When you get a guy like that and you play him a little closer to the line of scrimmage, who knows what he can do. There are just a lot of things that he wasn't asked to do. So, we'll see."

On how Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky reacted to both selections today:"He was excited. He was very excited. I mean, the whole defense was excited. I think you have a chance to get a guy like this on the second day. He was very excited about it."

On how good he feels about whether the team has improved:"I feel very good about what we've been able to accomplish. I think when you look at the identity of the 49ers, I think every one of these guys that we pick fit the identity. As long as we can stay close to that, stay on track, we've got guys that are going to hit people, guys that are going to be physical, guys who are going to do their job. That's exciting to me."

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