Thursday, January 6, 2011

Can You Spot The Next 49ers QB?

Did you happen to watch the Insight Bowl on December 28th? How about the Holiday Bowl on December 30th? Maybe the Sugar Bowl on January 4th? Odds are you at least peaked at one of them while flipping through the channels one day. Might have you had a peak at the 49ers 1st round pick of the 2011 NFL Draft? Quite possibly.

In the Insight Bowl, you had a quarterback for Missouri named Blaine Gabbert, who recently passed up his senior year for a promising NFL Draft; in the Holiday Bowl, you had Washington’s Jake Locker, who if he came out last year would have been a sinch for a top 10 pick, now he faces somewhere from top 10 to end of the 1st round; in the Sugar Bowl, you had Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett, the prototypical quarterback at 6’6”, which have scouts salivating, yet those who watched the Sugar Bowl saw just some of his weaknesses that NFL teams worry about.

Whether any of these quarterbacks are good enough to be the 7th overall pick of the 49ers is yet to be seen, or decided by folks like Todd McShay or Mel Kiper Jr.. All that is known is the 49ers need a quarterback, and these quarterbacks go 2, 3, and 4 in terms of best quarterbacks available (slide Cam Newton in there somewhere, too). It makes sense, I promise.

Who do the 49ers pick? Maybe not a quarterback at all. Word is they could get a Gabbert, Locker, or Mallett somewhere at the end of the 1st round if need be. What has the highest impact as to who they take is who will be the coach in 2011. That has yet to be decided, and so is who they take in the 2011 Draft.

Allow me to make a suggestion, though? Scouts are drooling over Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett. Sure, maybe he isn’t Andrew Luck, but Mallett’s 6’6” frame with one hell of an arm will have him climbing the Draft Board in about a month or so.

It may be a little early at #7, but the 49ers have not had a quarterback with that size and that much upside in a long time. The only thing that may hurt Mallett’s draft stock is his inaccurate arm, which he has improved every year. At 6’6” and 238 lbs., that can be taught.

The 49ers will have decisions to make in the coming months. They found their general manager, now the head coach and a possible future franchise quarterback are yet to be decided.

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