Niners' Quarterback Draft Strategy Can Go Several Different Ways

If San Francisco decides not to use its top pick for a QB, there may be some intriguing prospects in the middle rounds that would fit Chip Kelly's system

When ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his latest mock draft, he projected Cal quarterback Jared Goff as the 49ers’ top pick at No. 7 overall.

Lately, in fact, it seems the thinking among many NFL analysts is that the 49ers will take a quarterback with their No. 1 pick, or perhaps even trade up with the Tennessee Titans to get the first overall selection in the draft to ensure they get the passer they want – especially if Colin Kaepernick is traded before the draft begins on April 28.

But there’s also another line of thinking, that the 49ers might be better off taking the best player available with their first-round pick and then selecting a quarterback in the second round or lower. Paxton Lynch of Memphis and Connor Cook of Michigan State are two quarterbacks that could be available at the top end of Round 2.

Or, says former NFL quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, the Niners might be interested in waiting longer to grab Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott in the third or fourth round.

Jaworski believes the 6-foot-2, 226-pound Prescott might fit very well into Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme.

Jaworski, speaking on a conference call with Bay Area reporters recently, was very high on Prescott, a dual-threat QB who completed 62.8 percent of his throws in four seasons for Mississippi State for 9,376 yards and 70 touchdowns vs. 23 interceptions, while also running for 2,521 yards and 41 TDs.

“Prescott has been very impressive with his ability to throw the football,” said Jaworski. “I mean, he can rip throws. He has a strong arm.”

Added Jaworski: “If you look at what would be the optimal way for a Chip Kelly-style offense, it’s a quarterback with some mobility and can throw with repetitive accuracy on the run. That’s what I saw out of Dak Prescott.”

Plus, by waiting to take a quarterback later in the draft, the 49ers would be able to land a couple of talented players in the first two rounds to beef up a roster that’s been depleted over the past two years.

Waiting for Prescott, however, could be a gamble, if another team decides to make a move for him before the 49ers do.

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