Niners interested in QB Croyle?

Wednesday's morning practice at the Senior Bowl wasn't as heavily attended as in years past, but the scouts were out in droves afterward to continue the scouting process. The 49ers talked with Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle, who had the best practice day of any of the South quarterbacks and could be under consideration as a developmental prospect if San Francisco decides to go in that direction.

The 49ers are looking for depth behind their young starter Alex Smith, and Croyle's accuracy and ability to hit tight spots is impressing San Francisco's staff and putting Croyle on the team's radar as a possible prospect to develop for the future.

The 49ers have Ken Dorsey (three years of NFL experience) and Cody Pickett (two years) behind Smith at the moment, but the team is seriously considering bringing in an established veteran next season to mentor Smith and also be able to step in and play if needed. If the Niners get that kind of veteran, they would consider going in another direction for their No. 3 quarterback, opting to bring in a youngster with upside such as Croyle to develop future depth at the position.

The San Diego Chargers also had conversations with Croyle. San Diego is seeking a third quarterback option with Jay Feeley not expected to return in 2006 as a third option in the Drew Brees/Philip Rivers mix.

The Cleveland Browns spent a lot of time looking along the offensive line Wednesday morning, talking to Eric Winston of Miami and Cody Douglas of Tennessee. They have needs along the line with L.J. Shelton slated for free agency.

The Browns also scoured the defensive side of the ball, particularly the line. They spent time with Tennessee defensive lineman Jesse Mahelona and Florida State defensive end Kamerion Wimbley. The depth along the line is in definite need of an upgrade.

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was on the sidelines watching the defensive backs practice and followed the group around. Afterwards, he met personally with cornerback Marcus Hudson out of North Carolina State while his scouts talked to Georgia safety Greg Blue, another player who is on the 49ers' radar screen.

Keeping up with their secondary theme, scouts cornered Texas cornerback Cedric Griffin and Georgia corner DeMario Minter. One scout told him he would "see you at the combines."

The Texans, eager to protect David Carr from his intimate acquaintance with the ground, were hot on Winston, who has been impressive during drills. They have been hot and heavy on a number of linemen during the week of practices.

The Kansas City Chiefs were another active team. Three scouts surrounded North Carolina State defensive end Manny Lawson and spent a significant amount of time with the prospect. They also met with interior lineman Kyle Williams of Auburn.

Offensive tackle was also a target of affection as the Chiefs had discussions with Marcus McNeil of Auburn and Jon Scott of Texas.

McNeil said afterwards that he preferred to play left tackle in the pros and was eager to show his ability from that spot. He also noted that the lone sack he gave up in college came when he had to play guard for several games.

Niners Digest Top Stories