The San Francisco 49ers are one of the NFL’s worst teams this year, just four years removed from a Super Bowl appearance. The team has won just twice and features the NFL’s worst passing offense, which points to bad play at the quarterback position.
This is something general manager Trent Baalke admitted was his fault on Saturday during his weekly interview with Ted Robinson and Tim Ryan on KNBR’s pregame show. He was asked by Robinson to address his strategy at this critical position.
“Hindsight is always 20-20,” Baalke said, per KNBR.com. “And certainly, looking back on it, there were some opportunities for us to make some decisions to add a quarterback. Whether that be out of the draft or free agency, or a player that was on the street that had left his team. We’ve had opportunities, we’ve chosen not to, and that points directly to me. That’s a decision that I made at the time — right, wrong or indifferent, (we) can’t look back now.”
Baalke, who’s admitted he feels bad for 49ers fans, can’t look back now. But we can certainly look ahead.
The 49ers own the No. 2 position in the 2017 NFL Draft heading into Week 17. They will be in a position to potentially take the first quarterback off the board depending on what the Cleveland Browns do, should the order remain the same after the season concludes next Sunday. There are three names that have been thrown around by talent evaluators and via the rumor mill as the top quarterback of this next class — DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame), Deshaun Watson (Clemson) and Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina).
Of course, if if Cleveland takes a quarterback at the top of the draft, the 49ers might be inclined to take pass rusher Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M. If Baalke is still in charge, those who’ve been following him know that it will be darn near impossible for him to leave Garrett on the board.
It’s with that in mind what we’re inclined to believe the rumors that Baalke won’t be around to make that pick next spring (more on that here).
Instead, we expect Tom Gamble to be promoted from his position as assistant general manager, and if that happens you have to believe the 49ers will finally take a stab at a top quarterback prospect for the first time since 2005 when they took Alex Smith No. 1 overall.