This time of year the focus for the NFL is usually on free agency and April’s college draft. With a new collective bargaining agreement being worked out between NFL players and owners, a possible lockout is getting most of the attention. Regardless of a lockout the NFL draft is scheduled as planned however newly drafted players cannot sign with their teams until a new CBA is worked out. All the draft experts, if you ask me there are too many, are in full mode with mock drafts which seem to change every day. I have read the experts say the 49ers should draft anyone from Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn, Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus to any of the top three quarterbacks left when the 49ers pick like Washington’s Jake Locker, Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert and the enigma Auburn’s Cam Newton. The 49ers three big needs are at quarterback, defensive end and cornerback. Anyone of the defensive player listed would have an immediate impact with the 49ers. In order to win a Super Bowl in today’s NFL a team needs a franchise quarterback. With new head coach, and former NFL quarterback, Jim Harbaugh you would think the logical choice for the 49ers 7th pick is at quarterback. I agree the 7th pick should be used to get a quarterback but that pick should be part of a trade brining in a quarterback already in the NFL.
It will be a miracle if there is no lockout. However if NFL owners and players can hash out a new CBA with no lockout or a very short one the 49ers should trade for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb. The trade would certainly involve the 49ers 7th pick in the draft along with a combination of other draft picks. With David Carr as the 49ers only quarterback on the roster and the two Smith’s who started last year under center no longer with the team the 49ers will have a new starter taking snaps regardless which route they take. I would rather it be a quarterback with four years of learning experience in the NFL over a rookie quarterback that will take time to develop. The 49er Faithful is looking at the 2011 season as one that will end with the 49ers making the playoffs. This will not happen with a rookie quarterback and there are no free agent quarterbacks worth signing. If Eagles head coach Andy Reidliked Kolb enough to trade Donovan McNabblast year and make Kolb his starting quarterback he certainly has what it takes to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. Unfortunately for Kolb he got injured last season and saw Michael Vick play well and revive his NFL career.
After watching Aaron Rodgerswin the Super Bowl, who sat for three years on the bench learning how to play in the NFL, trading for Kolb who is young, in the prime of his career and ready to prove he is an elite quarterback would pay off for the 49ers success in 2011 and in the future. The 49ers would be giving up a lot for Kolb especially with a need at defensive end with Aubrayo Franklin most likely signing elsewhere and Justin Smith getting older however it will be worth the risk. The secondary is in need of help as well with Nate Clements no longer worth his huge contract and the other starters proving they need more talent in the secondary. The 49ers will need to fill these holes with late round draft picks and free agents but for me it would be worth giving up the 7th pick for the 49ers to finally have an elite quarterback after seeing the likes of Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jeff Garcia play successfully for the Red and Gold.
One of the things so frustrating last season was seeing how much talent the 49ers had on offense, minus at quarterback, and see it go to waste because Mike Singletary overlooked who was under center. With wide receiver Michael Crabtree, tight end Vernon Davis, running back Frank Gore and rising offensive linemen Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, the window for the 49ers to win with this group will not stay open forever, especially with Gore. Kolb is the only quarterback worth trading the 7th overall pick in the draft. Not to mention while with the Eagles Kolb learned the West Coast Offensive under Reid and Harbaugh will be implenting the West Coast Offense with the 49ers. The 49ers need to return to the glory days that made the franchise so successful which was in large part thanks to their West Coast Offense and having a quarterback who was a leader. For the 49ers in 2011 the only surefire quarterback to lead them back to relevancy is Kevin Kolb.