49ers won’t look quarterback early in 2018 NFL Draft

By Vincent Frank
Kelley L. Cox, USA Today Sports

The San Francisco 49ers’ acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo during last month’s trade deadline could very well have wide-ranging ramifications around the league once the 2018 NFL Draft comes calling.

San Francisco sent its original second-round pick to New England for the in-demand young signal caller. As of now, that would be the 34th pick in the draft. To be clear, it’s value for a potential franchise quarterback. It’s also a high price to pay in today’s NFL.

The bigger question sits at the top of the first round. Currently, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that San Francisco will be picking in the top two. In a class with potentially as many as five top-10 picks at the quarterback position, this could change the dynamic big time.

Normally when a team is selecting that high, it’s looking to add a potential franchise signal caller. For the 49ers, that doesn’t seem to be the case. In talking about whether the 49ers will be looking hard at quarterbacks leading up to the draft, first-year general manager John Lynch pretty much confirmed they won’t be.

“We still study every position, but we feel pretty good about where our quarterback room is,” Lynch said, via The Sacramento Bee.

This is somewhat of an interesting remark considering Garoppolo himself is set to become a free agent. Sure the two sides are discussing a contract extension, but a previous comment from Lynch also suggested the team might look to trade the recently-acquired quarterback for more draft chips.

Lynch somewhat backtracked on that comment as well.

“That probably was a stupid thing to say,” Lynch said. “That is not at all what we think. We genuinely believe that this guy’s got the makeup of a guy who could be our guy for years to come. That’s all got to come to fruition on the field and all that. But that was kind of a throwaway line that got a lot of attention.”

As of right now, Garoppolo has not played a single snap in a 49ers uniform. Given that head coach Kyle Shanahan has not yet named a starter for Sunday’s game against Seattle, that could change here soon.

Rookie C.J. Beathard did perform well in a blowout win over the Giants back in Week 10 prior the the 49ers’ bye last week. But the team must be itching to give Garoppolo some play before the season draws to a conclusion.

From a league-wide perspective, the 49ers’ improved quarterback situation could change the draft dynamic quite a bit.

Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are considered locks to be top-five picks when the draft comes calling. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson could all also be top-10 picks when all is said and done.

If the 49ers are willing to trade down from what will likely be a top-two pick, it could give other quarterback-needy teams an opportunity to pick up either Darnold or Rosen. That’s where teams such as the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals could come into play.

It’s definitely something to keep an eye on over the next several months.