West Coast Bound

While the San Francisco 49ers didn't contact Rasheed Marshall or his agent, Ralph Cindrich, in the weeks before picking the position-changing Marshall in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, it wasn't a surprise when the rebuilding NFC squad took him Sunday afternoon.

"A good percentage of teams don't talk to players before the draft," Cindrich told BlueGoldNews.com in an exclusive interview. "However, we knew a number of teams needed wide receivers this year, and San Francisco was one of those, so it wasn't a surprise when they took Rasheed."

Without any contact with certain teams, it can be a bit of a mystery to figure out what things they are looking at when drafting players, especially in the later rounds. Cindrich, who has been representing players for more than 20 years, thinks that in the case of a player projected at a different position, the list of possible items is a long one.

"I think they look at just about everything," said Cindrich, who has also represented players who have switched positions between the college and pro ranks. "Rasheed obviously had great productivity during the senior season, and he showed he can run with the ball. He also showed that he can adjust and do well at a new position, and that he was able to do it in the all-star games. And finally, I think his conduct, on and off the field, has a big impact too."

The position change might actually give Marshall a bit of an advantage over other players drafted in the fifth and sixth rounds, because the 49ers know there will be an adjustment period for a player learning the nuances of a new spot. And while the NFL isn't a league known for its patience, the fact that Marshall is obviously viewed as a bit of a project might give him some extra time to develop. Cindrich said that players in similar positions might get a year or so to get acclimated to the new spot, which could take a bit of pressure off Marshall as he strives to make an impression catching the ball rather than throwing it.

Up next in the process for Marshall is May minicamp, and then the contract negotiation process. That promises to be a bit of a new adventure for Cindrich and Marshall, as the 49ers have a new person in place handling those processes this year.

Paraag Marathe, who previously worked on special projects, including salary cap projections, for the 49ers, will be handling contract negotiations, according to Cindrich.

"I will need to get to know him and how he does business before we get down to negotiations," Cindrich observed.

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