How QBs could impact 49ers' draft strategy


How QBs could impact 49ers' draft strategy

The 49ers’ list of pre-draft visits is beginning to take shape, as more players are reported to be among the team’s maximum of 30 official visits to Santa Clara. Check out the updated list here.

Now, we go to our latest edition of 49ers Mailbag with questions submitted via Twitter: . . 

Q: Jimmy GQ signed long term and staff loves CJ’s attitude and toughness, but do you think they use another day 2 selection to round out the QB room? (@Budafruco)
A: It would be an upset if the 49ers’ top two quarterbacks to open the season are not Jimmy Garoppolo and C.J. Beathard. The 49ers can keep Garoppolo and Beathard together as the starter and backup through the 2020 season (the duration of Beathard’s contract).

The 49ers would be expected to add a fourth quarterback to their 90-man roster to join Nick Mullens. But it would not make sense for them to draft a quarterback on Day 2 – that is a second- or third-round draft pick.

The 49ers could add a late-round draft pick or, simply, wait to sign an undrafted rookie.

Q: What are the chances the niners trade with a team that's looking to move up in the draft? (@SF_a7x)
A: My guess is the only way the 49ers’ pick at No. 9 overall becomes a hot commodity is if one of the top four quarterbacks – Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield -- is not chosen within the top eight.

So it is a win-win for the 49ers. If four quarterbacks are chosen within the top eight, the 49ers will, at worst, end up with the No. 5 non-QB on their draft board. If there is a quarterback available, the 49ers might have the option of trading back and picking up additional draft picks.

Q: What are the chances we make a move up for Chubb? (@davidmakepeace)
A: Pass-rusher Bradley Chubb looks like a good fit for the 49ers’ “Leo” or elephant position. But when a team moves up within the top-10 of the draft, the cost of doing business is very high.

If there is one player for whom the 49ers might be tempted to move up to select, Chubb would be the most likely. But the price of doing business would be too high.

Q: If you are on the clock at 9, and the following players are there, who are you taking? Nelson, Fitzpatrick, Landry, Ward or R. Smith? (@YacovoneRick)
A: Let’s re-frame the question this way: Which of those players would the 49ers take?

Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson – with his size, agility and smarts – would be about as good as it gets for a 49ers offense that puts a lot of stress on its guards. My guess is the two non-QBs who are the best fits for the 49ers in this draft are Chubb and Nelson.

After that, it’s uncertain.

I’m not sold on Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward – due to his size and lack of physicality – being a fit for this defensive system. And Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds’ versatility, size and freakish athleticism places him on at least equal footing as Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith.

Boston College pass-rusher Harold Landry is an intriguing player whom the 49ers like more as they watch more of him.

Q: With all this talk about the addition of Cooper and the need to draft a guard... what happened to Josh Garnett? (@TellemFranky)
A: Joshua Garnett was never being counted upon to be a starter after the arrivals of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch. When the decision was made to place him on season-ending injured reserve to start the season, the 49ers challenged Garnett to get in better physical condition to handle the requirements of the guard position in this offense.

But Garnett’s presence was never going to dissuade the 49ers from trying to improve the competition in free agency. And, certainly, his presence would not prevent the 49ers from spending a draft pick on a guard, either.

The 49ers signed Jonathan Cooper as a free agent, and Laken Tomlinson returns after starting 15 games last season at left guard. Even without adding anyone in the draft, the competition at guard already looks better than it did at any point last season.

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

AMSTERDAM — Amnesty International gave former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday for his kneeling protest of racial injustice that launched a sports movement and might have cost him his job.

Onetime San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award during a ceremony in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In his acceptance speech, the award-winner described police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States as lawful lynchings.

"Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality.

"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, 'freedom and justice for all,' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?" he said at Saturday's award ceremony.

Other players joined his protest in the 2016 season, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players.

In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan.

Kaepernick wasn't signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco.

Reid, a safety who is now a free agent, continued Kaepernick's protests by kneeling during the anthem last season. Reid has said he will take a different approach in 2018.

Kaepernick paid tribute to his friend for his own role in the protest movement.

"Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy," Kaepernick said. "But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career."

Amnesty hands its award each year to a person or organization, "dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others."

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick "an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination."

Previous recipients of the award include anti-Apartheid campaigner and South African President Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls' right to education even after surviving being shot by Taliban militants.

"In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force," Kaepernick said.

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

The 49ers have their starting and backup quarterbacks on the roster for at least the next three seasons. That luxury opens up their draft options to concentrate on other areas.

Quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen could be selected within the first eight picks of the draft. If those four quarterbacks are chosen, it means the 49ers will get – at worst – the fifth-ranked player on their draft board.

And if there is still one of those quarterbacks available when the 49ers go on the clock at No. 9 overall, it invites the possibility of a trade-back option.

The 49ers could trade back and still get one of the five players – Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport – highlighted as first-round draft options.

But if the 49ers move further back or acquire an additional pick in the first round, here are some of their options...

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The 49ers must start thinking about a time when two new offensive tackles are going to be required. McGlinchey (6-8, 312) began his career at right tackle before shifting to the left side. That versatility could come in handy for the 49ers, as right tackle Trent Brown enters the final year of his contract and might not be back in 2019. Moreover, six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is 34 years old, and it is uncertain how much longer he can play at a high level. McGlinchey has the athleticism that Shanahan covets. He began high school as a tight end and also played on the basketball team.

OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller is an exceptional athlete who should get better and better. He ran the third-fastest time among offensive linemen at the combine and placed near the top of all the other agility drills. Miller started off his college career on the right side before shifting over to protect the blind side of quarterback Josh Rosen. With any offensive lineman the 49ers select, the club could consider having him begin his career at guard before moving him to tackle whenever the need arises.

CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Jackson was among the 49ers’ final pre-draft visits to Santa Clara. The team needs another cornerback to join presumptive starters Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. At 6-0 3/8, Jackson is not as tall as initially advertised, but his style of play and long arms would fit well within the 49ers’ scheme. He has great instincts, as shown by his nation-leading eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups.

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The consensus best wide receiver in the draft could provide Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan with another option in the passing game to join starters Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin. Garçon is the possession receiver and Goodwin is the deep threat. Ridley is versatile and polished, which makes him a nice chess piece to utilize early in his career for specific matchups.

WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
It should be noted that the 49ers like their receiver corps, a group that also includes Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson and Kendrick Bourne. But Sutton (6-3, 219) would give the 49ers more size to exploit matchups. He gets high marks off the field. There is no rush to get him out there before he is ready. The 49ers can take their time to develop him, as they would have him under their control contractually for five seasons. He has spent time learning from Anquan Boldin.