San Francisco 49ers: Would Vernon Adams be a good fit?

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JANUARY 23: Vernon Adams Jr.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JANUARY 23: Vernon Adams Jr. /

Before Vernon Adams Jr. lit it up in last weekend’s East-West Shrine Game, the San Francisco 49ers already showed interest in the former Oregon Ducks quarterback. The intrigue between the two parties is obvious with their connections, but is Adams really built to last in the NFL? Should the 49ers consider using a draft pick on him?

Adams boosted his draft position after imitating Russell Wilson in a dominant 29-9 victory in the college football all-star game. He threw three touchdowns to three different receivers, and with the way he’s built and how he eluded pressure throughout the game, it was hard not to compare him to the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback. Considered at best a fifth to seventh-round pick, he’ll probably be looked at a round earlier by some folks.

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NFL Network draft scout Mike Mayock, who called the game, said that San Francisco should be one of those organizations. From Chase Goodbread of

"“If you’re (new 49ers coach) Chip Kelly, you’re taking a look at Vernon Adams and seeing what he can do,” Mayock said on the NFL Network broadcast."

While Kelly wasn’t around at Oregon when Adams transferred from Eastern Washington to play there for one season, his system is still in place. Adams got better as the season went on, overcoming an early injury and leading the Ducks to six straight victories to finish the season. There’s no doubt they’ll be paying attention to the former Oregon QB.

No, that success doesn’t directly translate to probable success under Kelly and the 49ers. There’s a lot to worry about physically and Adams won’t be immediately ready to take on the role as a starter, hence his lower projection. He checks in at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds — he’s going to have to beef up or else he’s going to get smacked around by NFL defenses.

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However, the 49ers do have to focus on picking up another quarterback. Colin Kaepernick should get a chance to revitalize his career assuming the recovery process goes smoothly and the organization does keep him, but what happens if it falls through next season? Let’s also not pretend that Blaine Gabbert is that good. Sure, he had his moments last season, but he barely deserves a spot on the roster let alone starting for a team.

With the potential of Kaepernick, it’s foolish to waste an early draft pick on a quarterback, especially when there are bigger needs like the offensive line. Late draft picks are all gambles anyway — sometimes teams will win the lottery while many others will keep them on the practice squad or not even sign them.

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If Adams gets bulkier, he should be a great fit as a backup, but that’s about it. There’s a good chance he’ll never be a full-time NFL starter due to physical limitations, but he’s got a lot of talent. The 49ers should be patient on draft day. If he’s available in the fifth round or after, 49ers GM Trent Baalke should grab him. Anything earlier would be too risky of a play.