The 49ers now have Colin Kaepernick, Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien at quarterback, but don’t be surprised if GM Trent Baalke decides to spend a mid- to low-round pick on a quarterback in the draft later this month.
Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL scout and current analyst for NFL.com, believes the 49ers will pick a quarterback to deepen the roster and give the team future options. He told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee recently that he believes the 49ers will select a quarterback somewhere between the fourth and sixth rounds.
“There are guys available who are good, developmental prospects,” Jeremiah told Barrows. “Size, arm strength – all that stuff – they’re just really, really raw.
“The good news for San Francisco is that they don’t need a guy that can play right away. Just a good, young developmental guy and kind of do what the Packers did for all those years and always have a quarterback in the pipeline. Especially because (head coach Jim) Harbaugh is so darn good at developing quarterbacks.
“You let Harbaugh work with them and pretty soon you’ve turned a sixth-round pick into a second-round pick.”
A quarterback Jeremiah mentioned as a possibility for the 49ers is Matt Scott of Arizona.
“He’s got a really strong arm, he’s a great athlete and he can kind of do some of the things they’re doing now in San Francisco,” Jeremiah told Barrows. “He just needs time to develop.”
Other quarterbacks that have been linked to the 49ers include Sean Renfree of Duke, Tyler Wilson of Arkansas, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, Jordan Rodgers of Vanderbilt and Ryan Griffin of Tulane.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote recently that Renfree is an intriguing candidate because Harbaugh, when he was at Stanford, recruited him out of Scottsdale, Ariz. Renfree has good size (6-foot-3, 219 pounds) and was a three-year starter for the Blue Devils. He had a torn pectoral muscle late this past season, but Branch noted that draft analysts such as Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock have been very high on Renfree for his “accuracy, intangibles and pedigree,” having been coached all four years at Duke by David Cutcliffe, who has worked with both Peyton and Eli Manning.
Cutcliffe told Branch that Renfree could be the “steal of the draft.”
“If you’re going to succeed in the NFL, it’s not about strong arms,” Cutcliffe told Branch. “It’s not about trying to hammer throws in there. It’s about extreme accuracy. Every level you play football, people are less open. And it’s being able to command the ball. And Sean consistently commands the ball better than any other quarterback I see coming out.”
Renfree has been projected as a fifth-round pick.
Kevin Lynch of the Chronicle wrote that he expects the 49ers to use a sixth- or seventh-round pick on a quarterback to fill out the roster.
“The 49ers need a fourth quarterback in training camp and hopefully, a mobile quarterback would be best here to get the defense used to facing a Russell Wilson-type of player,” he wrote.
Renfree doesn’t fit that mold – he’s a drop-back passer – but Arizona’s Scott is much more mobile and athletic. Both are considered to have high upsides for a team that can spend time developing them – such as the Niners.