When the 49ers finally had a chance to make a pick on Day 2 of the draft, they were in perfect position to take a quarterback for the future.
There, available for the taking, was Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, whom many analysts had connected to the Niners on the second day of the draft. Cook was a highly productive college player and seemed like a nice fit for new head coach Chip Kelly’s spread system.
They’d have their second-day quarterback of the future to go with Thursday’s two first-round picks for the present, defensive end DeForest Buckner and guard Joshua Garnett.
But the 49ers are nothing if not unpredictable. Instead of Cook – or any other QB still available – general manager Trent Baalke took Mississippi State cornerback Will Redmond with the fifth choice of the third round, the 68th overall.
There was one predictable element, however: Redmond is coming off a knee injury, having torn the ACL of his right knee in October. In recent drafts, Baalke has repeatedly selected players coming off knee surgery, hoping to get value for players whose stock had dropped.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported Friday that knee surgery and rehab have gone well and a “medical recheck” at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis went well.
Redmond, almost 5-foot-11 and 182 pounds, played just six games in 2015 and had two interceptions. The previous season he had three picks in 12 games.
His scouting report on NFL.com notes that Redmond is very athletic and has the tools to play tight man coverage.
“Has burst to close out throws quickly and challenge the catch,” notes the report. “Aggressive and determined in run support.”
Redmond figures to challenge for a starting spot at corner opposite Tramaine Brock, with his biggest challenge coming from the trio of Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser and Marcus Cromartie.
If the 49ers want to add a quarterback, their next chance will be in Round 4, Saturday, with the 133rd overall choice.