John Clayton thinks 49ers should draft QB in round 2 or 3

Apr 14, 2017 at 7:51 PM--

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding what the San Francisco 49ers might do with the second overall pick. The idea of using the selection on a quarterback is quickly fading away. A lot of that has to do with this year's quarterback class, which is not seen as being nearly as strong as 2018's rookie crop. The belief is that there simply is no quarterback in this class worthy of such a high pick.

While it may not happen in the first round, there are few who doubt that the 49ers will address the quarterback position at some point in the draft. The question is when the selection of a signal caller will take place.

On Friday, John Clayton of ESPN took a look at 12 teams he feels should draft a quarterback and in which round they should address the position. For the 49ers, he felt that general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan should draft a quarterback in round two or three.

"They know they can wait until next year and have a chance to sign Cousins to a megadeal," wrote Clayton. "They can get through the season with [Brian] Hoyer and [Matt] Barkley, but it isn't out of the question for them to draft a quarterback to give Kyle Shanahan someone to develop."

Clayton is correct. There is no urgency in San Francisco to move quickly on acquiring a quarterback of the future if Shanahan and Lynch feel that better options will be available down the road. Shanahan and Lynch each have six-year contracts and time to build the roster how they see fit. As Clayton points out, in addition to next year's draft class, quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.

In the meantime, the duo is doing its due diligence when it comes to quarterbacks in this draft class. Shanahan and Lynch have already met with top prospects like Mitch Trubisky of North Carolina, Deshaun Watson of Clemson, Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech, DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame, and Davis Webb of Cal. They have even shown interest in lesser publicized prospects like Jerod Evans of Virginia Tech.

RELATED 49ers 2017 Pre-Draft Visit/Meeting Tracker

What that means is that the 49ers could select a quarterback in any round. If they feel one of the top prospects could be the team's quarterback of the future, they certainly could make the selection in the range that Clayton predicts. If they feel that it would be better to wait until next year, they could wait until a later round or even sign a quarterback as an undrafted free agent – or both. After all, they team will likely need four quarterbacks heading into training camp and they currently only have Hoyer and Barkley on the roster.

We'll know the answer to a lot of these questions on April 29, when the 2017 NFL Draft concludes. Round one kicks off three days earlier on April 27 in Philadelphia.

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