San Francisco 49ers: Last-Minute Draft Thoughts, GM Challenge

Feb 9, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan pose for a photo during a press conference at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2017; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan pose for a photo during a press conference at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The San Francisco 49ers are two days away from shocking their fan base by going against what most of the draft media has reported by selecting?

San Francisco 49ers fans have been lied to for months. They have been led to believe that the team will not entertain a quarterback with the team’s No. 2 overall selection. This is not only lazy analysis, but also simply a complete farce.

More so, both team general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have been given six-year contract,s which is absurd by NFL standards. This allows them to take risks not normally given to other teams’ general managers and head coaches.

They can take a quarterback this year and again next year. Or, they can take two this year if they felt so inclined. Does the rest of the roster need to be rebuilt? Yes. But to ignore the quarterback position is completely foolish especially when there is no other player in this class that is a clear-cut No. 2 pick.

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After the consensus No. 1 overall pick, former Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett, there is a bunch of really good players but no one player that is excellent. After No. 1, there is a large group of players whose overall grade is so close that the level of separation is paper-thin.

This is before you start to consider that many of these perceived prospects come with serious flaws. Stud linebacker Reuben Foster? He has off-the-field issues, drug concerns and injuries. Instinctual free safety Malik Hooker? He couldn’t test due to lingering injuries.

Jonathan Allen? Injured shoulders. Marshon Lattimore? Recurring hamstring issues. Elite wide receivers? Nope.  World-class  offensive tackles? Nada. Catch my drift? In the absence of an obvious No. 2 talent, why not select the player at the most valuable position? The answer is very simple and this is why teams do this every single year.

There is no player worth taking with the No. 2 overall pick — the end. Trading down is the answer!

Finally, the draft cycle completes its cycle. On Monday, April 24, Ian Rapoport of reported that the San Francisco 49ers are mulling the possibility of taking a quarterback at No. 2.

Similar to last year’s draft cycle, (and previous drafts for that matter) quarterbacks get drafted much sooner than what most of the draft media expect. Last season, no one expected LA Rams Jared Goff or Philadelphia Eagles Carson Wentz to get drafted No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.

Eerily similar to Rapoport’s report is draft prognosticators Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. hedging their bets on their ESPN podcast First Draft. On the episode “Make Your Head Explode,” they elaborated on why they could see teams in the top-three of the draft select a quarterback.

Why? Because there is no difference between the No. 2 prospect and the No. 15 prospect. Plus, most of the top-25 prospects come with some red flags. So if you can’t trade down, then what?

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If (and that is a major if) the 49ers find someone to trade with then the 49ers should most definitely trade out of that No. 2 spot. However, teams below the 49ers will not look to trade up. This draft does not offer stars at the top of the draft worth trading up to get.

More importantly, the players you could get at No. 2 will have just about the same grade as the players available at No. 15 overall so why trade up? The only reason for a team to trade up is to go grab a quarterback. The 49ers most pressing need is a quarterback. If they like any of these quarterbacks, they simply cannot pass that opportunity up. Next season, they may not be in a position to draft a top-tier prospect at the position.

Don’t believe me? Ask the Jags, Jets, Browns, or Bills if they feel comfortable trying to grab a quarterback from the position where they are in this year’s draft.

The San Francisco 49ers need to make sure that they select their field general now while they have their pick of the litter. Even if that pick turns out to be a runt, they have security built into their extended contracts. Essentially, they are playing with house money. They have no reason to play scared.

They can and should look to draft quarterbacks every season. Maybe not in the first-round every season but they should definitely get that position solidified or else the rest of the roster does not matter. In fact, team general manager Lynch stated that the team is still looking for the team’s franchise quarterback during a recent press conference.

During the press conference, he was asked by a reporter if he would take a quarterback if unable to trade out of the No. 2 spot. Lynch responded by discussing the importance of the position and then emphatically ended the statement with a simple, “yes”.

Moving on, here is my shock-mock draft coming in at the last minute:

I used Fanspeak’s On The Clock mock draft simulator to compile this quick mock.

Once you feel like you could do a better job than the pros, prove it! I challenge you to take my GM fan challenge. Rules for the game can be found below.

Gamboa’s GM Fan Challenge – 2017 NFL Shadow Draft

First, let me give credit for this idea to Brian Peacock, host of the Locked On 49ers podcast. Brian has done a “shadow” draft for several years now. Each year when the 49ers were on the clock, Brian made his pick for the 49ers and “locked” it.

After the draft, he made his picks public to his followers. Years later, his drafts are still publicly available where anyone can go compare his picks to those of then general manager Trent Baalke. The result? Well, let’s just say that I would gladly hire Brian to be my general manager over Baalke.

Here are Brian’s past shadow drafts:

Now that I have given Brian plenty of love, let’s get to the meat of it — the first annual general manager fan challenge. The rules of the game are very simple:

  1. Follow me on Twitter.
  2. Make your choice when the 49ers are on the clock but remember that you can’t select a player already selected by another team. (i.e. If the Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick then he is not available for any of the 49ers picks.)
  3. Make a final Twitter post with all of your fan GM picks on one post.
  4. Send me your full GM fan challenge shadow draft via Twitter.
  5. The winner will be announced via Twitter next month.

The winner of this contest will get a framed Jerry Rice photo:

The goal, as stated, is to try and match my picks. Pro Tip: I will be trying to act like I am the 49ers general manager. Your best bet is to do the same!

Next: 49ers: 5 Best Trade Down Scenarios In 2017 NFL Draft

One final note: Share the article with fellow 49ers fans. Take this challenge to your Twitter feed, Facebook, etc. All are welcome to play!