The 49ers already have signed two quarterbacks for the 2017 season, Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, with Hoyer presumed to be the starter.
But as the NFL draft gets closer, speculation continues that the 49ers could use the No. 2 overall pick – or a lower selection – to add a possible young franchise quarterback to the roster.
Niners general manager John Lynch wants to upgrade the position, certainly, but he doesn’t want to force the issue with Hoyer and Barkley already aboard.
Some have projected that Lynch and new head coach Kyle Shanahan could select one of three quarterbacks in the first round to become the long-term foundation of the offense: North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson or Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.
In fact, Lynch said in an interview on the NFL Network this week that all three of those QBs, along with Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, have “redeeming qualities” that make them very attractive.
But Hoyer, when given a chance, also has performed well and could fare well in Shanahan’s scheme. At Cleveland, Hoyer played for Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator.
When Lynch was asked at the NFL meeting in Phoenix this week about when San Francisco would find a franchise quarterback, he said, “I think the thought process is as soon as possible.”
“It’s something we set out from the very beginning, putting a huge priority on as soon as possible,” said Lynch, according to a report on SB Nation by Jennifer Leechan. “We are very happy with the guys we brought in. Hopeful that they will play great, but we’re always looking. We’ve been very upfront about that. Always looking to improve ourselves there.
“You know, Kyle had the MVP last year (Matt Ryan, in Atlanta) so you saw how close that got them to the ultimate goal. So, I think he knows well. I played on a Super Bowl team (in Tampa Bay). We had Brad Johnson who I thought was great, but a lot of people look at him like he doesn’t fit in that typical guy that’s winning Super Bowls these days, but Brad was perfect for our team, so you can do it in a lot of different ways.
"But we’re certainly trying to get that MVP candidate, you know? That would be fun.”