Gaines Adams would be a nice fit with 49ers

As the NFL draft nears, Clemson product Gaines Adams is flying up draft charts as one of the premier defensive players available, and he's a talent the 49ers definitely would consider grabbing if he's available at their No. 11 slot in the first round. Here, Adams gives his thoughts on the 2007 NFL Draft and how he could fit into a 3-4 defense such as the 49ers,' among other subjects.

Adams, whose 4.64-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in February was the fastest for any defensive lineman, spoke this week with's Roy Philpott. Here are some excerpts from their conversation:

Q: Gaines, it seems like there was a big buzz surrounding your performance at the NFL Combine last month. Can you talk about what you did up there and how you feel like it has helped your draft status?
Adams: Overall from what I've been hearing I did a pretty good job. I had the mindset to go in there and work hard to show the teams and the scouts what I have. I did some linebacker drills and some defensive end drills. Overall I think I did pretty well.

Q: What teams have been talking to the most throughout the entire draft/scouting process?
Adams: I've been hearing from a variety of teams to be honest. Basically the teams that are scheduled to go first in the draft. But I'm just waiting for that day. I can't wait to get into the NFL and be able to play.

Q: Do you have any sort of preference about where you'd like to play? A warm-weather team? A favorite team growing up?
No. I just want to be the first pick. I just want to be that guy who's name is called first. Being in this situation is a great honor and I just want to make the best of it.

Q: Has it hit you yet the kind of money you are about ready to walk into?
I don't look at it from a money standpoint. I just look at it from a perspective I hopefully want to hear my name called first. I believe that's more than money, knowing that you are the best player in your class and in the nation. It's not about money.

Q: You seem to fit that hybrid linebacker/defensive role that we are seeing more in the NFL. Do you find that teams are talking to you more about playing as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme?
Oh yeah. I've heard both so it doesn't make a difference to me. I've been working out so I'm ready. Whichever scheme it is I'm going to be ready to play. Gaines Adams Scouting Report

Bio: Two-year starter awarded All-Conference honors since his junior campaign. All-American selection as a senior after posting 52/17.5/12.5 and breaking up six passes. Junior totals were 56/15/9.5, with 9.5 pass break-ups.

Positives: Game-impacting defender with tremendous upside. Breaks down well, is fast to the sidelines and creates a lot of havoc. Effectively uses his hands, rushes the edge with speed and has the ability to alter his angle of attack and pursue from the backside. Fluid moving in reverse, displaying a back-pedal when asked to play in space. Plays with tremendous pad level, balance and rarely is off his feet. Covers a lot of area, displaying speed in every direction.

Negatives: Tends to turn it on and off. Gives half-hearted efforts to shed blocks and does not always chase the action. Accused of playing as though he did not want to get hurt early in his senior campaign.

Analysis: A defender who takes over games, Adams has the physical skills to be an early draft pick and an immediate starter at the next level. His motor and toughness do not match his physical skills yet he offers All-Pro potential if he's willing to pay the price.

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