Alex Smith is the starting quarterback, and the 49ers have earmarked $3 million annually over the next two seasons for David Carr. But do the 49ers have any draft needs at the most important position?
It’s wide open. There are three quarterbacks on the roster. The 49ers will definitely add a quarterback for the offseason and training camp. But it’s only a guess whether the 49ers will select a quarterback in the draft – early, middle or late rounds – or just wait to sign an undrafted free agent to be a camp arm.
I solicited questions on Twitter earlier today. Part 1 focuses on quarterbacks and cornerbacks:
Q: please tell me the rumor that the niners want Tebow is just that a rumor? (Yannick1919)
MM: I have not seen or heard any rumors about the 49ers drafting Tim Tebow. I have read speculation, though. One team source told me coach Mike Singletary really likes Tebow. That should not come as a surprise to anyone. Of course, he’s going to like him. But does he like him enough to push director of player personnel Trent Baalke to select him? I don’t see any football logic in selecting a quarterback who – after four years of college – is just now learning how to throw the football properly.
(It should be noted: I don’t think there’s any chance the 49ers would take Tebow in the first round. Where Singletary’s affinity for Tebow could make a difference is in the second round, at No. 49 overall.)
Q: Alex Smith may be OK but he ain’t great. Can u see Clausen in scarlet and gold? (Redsmally)
MM: This is one of those questions I’m going to have to answer with another question. If the 49ers believe Jimmy Clausen is clearly going to be a better quarterback than Alex Smith, then – yes – they should take Clausen if he remains unclaimed after the first 12 picks in the draft. As much as the 49ers might believe they’re set up to win a lot of games in 2010, they must not lose sight of the big picture.
Q: if the Alex Smith plan fails, what is the next step? Carr isn’t the answer, would we need to rebuild everything again? (pierre82)
MM: Smith is signed through this season. So at some point the 49ers will make a decision whether to attempt to re-sign him or let him walk. David Carr is signed for this year and next. Nate Davis still has a long way to go to get onto the field for a regular-season game. If Smith falls on his face this season, Carr will get a chance. If at the end of the season the 49ers believe neither one is worth keeping around, they’ll have to look to sign a stop-gap veteran and draft a quarterback high in the 2011 draft.
Q: w/ the possibility
MM: Probably not. I think the only trade-up possibility that makes sense is for the 49ers to go get an offensive tackle. While the 49ers would love to have Eric Berry, if they were able to get him, it would open up an interesting dilemma. I don’t think there’s a team in the league that has made large investments in two safeties. Therefore, if the 49ers were to draft a true safety in the first round, I don’t see the logic in retaining Dashon Goldson with a sizable contract extension. Goldson is entering the final year of his contract.
Q: If Mays falls to first few picks of second round and Niners got Haden & Davis is first do you think they’d trade up to get him? (AFNinerFan)
MM: That’s a possibility. I don’t think that would’ve happened with general manager Scot McCloughan. I’m told he was not high on Mays because he never felt Mays exhibited cover skills at USC. But it’s entirely possible the people who now run the show for the 49ers have a higher opinion of Mays.
Q: If we take Haden at 13 who are our starting corners? (Kurtz49)
MM: I’d think they’d give the appearance that Haden is competing for a starting job, but it would not take Haden long to find his way into the starting role. If the 49ers were to select Haden, it would make Nate Clements and his $6 million salary expendable. I’d think the starters would be Haden and Shawntae Spencer, with Tarell Brown as the nickel back.
Q: Is anything happening w/ Dre Bly? (svcomremoose)
MM: No. Depending on what the 49ers do in the draft, they might revisit the possibility of signing him, though.
Q: Any word on Walt Harris? Is he coming back with 49ers? (tre_faaborg)
MM: He continues to rehab from surgery last offseason to repair a torn ACL. There are injury/age concerns with Harris. After the draft, the 49ers will evaluate what they need at the cornerback position.
Q: Why is Patrick Robinson underrated? what did you hear/see? (wokingfool)
MM: Yesterday I wrote that
Q: One aspect of Scot McCloughan’s departure I’ve haven’t heard discussed is how it affects draft day trades. Does the loss of McCloughan and the connections he has made over the last five years as 49ers GM hurt their ability to work the phones and get a deal done? (kdbenson)
MM: It might actually help the 49ers made more trades. McCloughan did not like to over-think the draft. If there was a player he liked on the board at a certain spot in the draft, the 49ers were going to take him. Last year, the club saw several of the players they really liked in the second round get chosen. The 49ers would have selected offensive lineman Max Unger, but the Panthers offered a trade. That’s how the 49ers got their second first-round pick for this year. If the 49ers have more options to trade back this season, they might be more inclined to accept an offer.
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