Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports



As soon as the 2017 NFL Draft concluded, analysts started looking forward to 2018. As expected, most do not envision the San Francisco 49ers having much success during the 2017 season, thus ending up with yet another high selection.

The 49ers actually did address the quarterback position in April's draft. They selected C.J. Beathard out of Iowa in the third round. Analysts must not expect him to be the team's quarterback of the future because most have San Francisco selecting from what is considered to be a very good 2018 quarterback class.

It is important to note that a lot can happen before the 2018 NFL Draft so you should take these mocks with a grain of salt. Numerous early 2017 mock drafts had the 49ers selecting quarterbacks like Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson.

Below is a look at some of the self-proclaimed "super-early" 2018 mock drafts and who they have the 49ers selecting. Two don't have the 49ers selecting a quarterback but assume that San Francisco will sign Kirk Cousins, who is currently with the Washington Redskins.

CBS Sports


Selection: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

We'll start with a mock draft that we have already reported on. Jared Dubin of CBS Sports has the 49ers selecting second overall and skipping on Sam Darnold of USC to pick Josh Rosen of UCLA. Dubin has Josh Allen of Wyoming being the top overall selection going to the Cleveland Browns. Darnold goes third overall to the New York Jets.

Dubin writes the following about the selection:

"Brian Hoyer is a nice stop-gap option for the 49ers, but if they wind up with another top pick in a QB-heavy class, it seems safe to bet on John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan taking the plunge."

Walter Football


Selection: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

The first mock draft at Walter Football was created by site founder Walter Cherepinsky. This one actually has Rosen falling in the draft to the Arizona Cardinals at number 19 overall. Cherepinsky doesn't have the 49ers going quarterback at all with their first-round pick, which is third overall. He has the 49ers selecting running back Saquon Barkley of Penn State. The reasoning for the selection is based on the assumption that the 49ers will acquire Cousins in 2018, which remains a good possibility.

Cherepinsky writes the following about the selection:

"A quarterback would make sense for the 49ers if they didn't stand a good chance of obtaining Kirk Cousins. It's unclear if that'll be possible this offseason, but it surely will happen by next spring. If so, Cousins will need someone to throw to besides Pierre Garçon. He'll also need a running back; Carlos Hyde is not a good fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense, and there was some talk that the 49ers would select Leonard Fournette."

Selection: QB Sam Darnold, USC

The second mock draft at Walter Football was created by Charlie Campbell. This one does have the 49ers addressing the quarterback position early. Very early. Campbell has San Francisco selecting Darnold with the first overall pick – a spot typically reserved for the NFL's worst team barring a trade.

Campbell writes the following about the selection:

"John Lynch grabs the 49ers franchise quarterback. San Francisco should be in position to land one of the top four quarterback prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft."

Rotoworld


Selection: QB Sam Darnold, USC

Another vote for Darnold and another mock that has the 49ers selecting with the first overall pick. In this 2018 mock draft, Thor Nystrom of Rotoworld assumes that the 49ers are unable to land Cousins from Washington.

Nystrom writes the following about the selection:

"If the 49ers fail to acquire Kirk Cousins, they'll be shopping for a signal-caller early in next year's draft. Fortunately, the 2018 quarterback class has the makings to be the best we've seen in several years. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Darnold, the preseason Heisman favorite, has a prototypical frame and pinpoint accuracy. He flashed a big arm and functional mobility in a pro-style scheme in leading the Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory last year."

FOX Sports


Selection: CB Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State

This 2018 mock draft by Dieter Kurtenbach of FOX Sports is another one that does not have the 49ers selecting a quarterback in the first round. It also does not have the 49ers selecting as high as some of the other mocks. Kurtenbach has the 49ers selecting fourth overall and going with cornerback Tarvarus McFadden of Florida State. This is another mock draft that assumes head coach Kyle Shanahan will land Cousins.

Kurtenbach writes the following about the selection:

"The 49ers just paid Kirk Cousins, so why would they need to draft a quarterback here? They add to their stockpile of young talent with McFadden, the long, and athletic athlete who was a lock-down corner for Florida State in 2017."

Bleacher Report


Selection: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller has the 49ers selecting second overall and taking the first quarterback off of the board. After the Browns select defensive lineman Christian Wilkins of Clemson, he has San Francisco adding Allen. The Wyoming quarterback is Miller's top prospect at the position in 2018.

Miller writes the following about the selection:

"If Patrick Mahomes can be drafted No. 10 overall, Allen can be drafted in the top handful of picks. Allen, at 6'5" and 222 pounds, is exactly what scouts look for in terms of size, strength and athleticism. He has to continue to develop and cut down on interceptions, but the tools are there. And if this draft taught us anything, it's that teams will gamble on tools."

Miller does note that the 49ers are expected to make a huge push for Cousins, unless Washington can sign him to a long-term contract by July 17th. However, this mock draft is based on Cousins not being a factor...yet.

Pro Football Focus


Selection: QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus published his first 2018 mock draft in May. He had the 49ers going quarterback too, but not one who you might expect. With the third overall selection, Palazzolo has the 49ers selecting Mason Rudolph of Oklahoma State. Of course, as is the case with most of what Pro Football Focus produces, the opinion here is based a lot on its unique grading system.

Palazzolo writes the following about the selection:

"Rudolph is often overlooked when citing the best quarterbacks in the class of 2018, but he has the best resume of the bunch after finishing eighth in the nation with an 86.7 grade in 2015 and second with a 92.7 grade last season. Rudolph still has some consistency issues to iron out, but he throws the ball very accurately outside the numbers and he's handled pressure extremely well over the last two seasons. The 49ers exhibited patience with the quarterback class in 2017, but they can get their future signal-caller a year from now."

Palazzolo has Darnold going with the first overall selection to the Jets, making Rudolph the second quarterback off of the board. Allen goes seventh overall to the Buffalo Bills and Rosen goes 16th overall to the Cardinals. Rosen is actually the fifth quarterback selected in this mock draft. Palazzolo has Lamar Jackson of Louisville going 12th overall to Washington.

The interesting note here is that the Jackson selection is based on Washington not signing Cousins to a long-term deal, yet it still has the 49ers selecting a quarterback at number three. Perhaps this mock assumes that the 49ers won't be the team to sign Cousins in free agency.