49ers Reverse Course, Interview Matt Stafford

The 49ers continued their pre-draft interviews by bringing in the top-rated quarterback in the draft, Georgia's Matt Stafford. This is unusual because the 49ers had previously declared Stafford off their draft board.

Stafford, you may recall, was the subject of Mike Singletary's "maybe he doesn't belong here" live on-air radio rant on KNBR. It was one of the most unflattering, critical remarks an NFL head coach has made about a draft-eligible player in recent years.   

Which may have made things a little awkward Monday, when the 49ers backtracked and had Stafford in for a visit, as first noted by Gil Brandt of NFL.com. It is unknown whether this visit involved another session with the team psychologist, or Stafford being told "Maybe you just don't belong here" by Coach Singletary.

This just opens up all kinds of avenues for speculation -- and it may be exactly the 49ers' intent to keep other teams guessing. Stafford, after all, has reportedly told friends he's sure to be drafted No. 1 overall by the Lions, according to reports on ProFootballTalk.com. It's not expected that Stafford would even be available at  No. 10. Then again, it was not expected that former No. 1 candidates Aaron Rodgers or Brady Quinn would last until teams selected in the twenties. If the Lions don't take Stafford, there is some legitimate possibility he'd be available at No. 10.

It also re-opens the can of worms that the 49ers may not, in fact, be happy to go at the 2009 season with just Shawn Hill and Alex Smith battling it out for the starting position. That Kurt Warner visit certainly suggested the team may have some interest in another quarterback.

It's a burning question whether the 49ers would select Stafford if he's still available to them with the No. 10 pick. It's an even more burning question whether a team would select a guy whom they'd previously publicly castigated in the media as a player with an attitude and psychological problem.

Any team that does that should probably spend a few sessions with their team psychologist.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is telling his friends that he's certain he will be selected No. one overall by the Detroit Lions.

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