The San Francisco 49ers were one of only two teams to visit Eastern Illinois’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo‘s pro day at Northwestern University earlier this week. The other franchise, Houston, seems more likely to take a quarterback highly, but the 49ers seemingly have a desire to upgrade at the backup quarterback spot. They brought in multiple QBs last season to compete with backup Colt McCoy–who was also brought in via a trade with the Cleveland Browns (that actually occurred). It thus makes it quite interesting that, while most clubs stayed away, the 49ers showed up.
Garappolo is an intriguing prospect. He hails from a small school, but broke all of Tony Romo‘s major school records en route to winning the Walter Payton Award after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 53 touchdowns. He has the arm. He has starting potential and would be an excellent backup to Colin Kaepernick.
However, he will likely go in the second round. The 49ers do not need to draft a quarterback that highly. After all, Kaepernick has yet to miss a start due to injury and other needs–wide receiver, cornerback, and safety–are much more pressing. As Trent Baalke likes drafting for the future, do not be surprised if Aaron Murray becomes the 49ers’ QB of choice. His ACL tear almost certainly has dropped him down draft boards–and his poor team this season did not help either. Murray kept Georgia afloat, despite the squad’s vast array of injuries and lack of top-notch talent. He could be a steal in the 4th or 5th rounds. He could also be put on injured reserve for a year while the 49ers bring in a cheap veteran backup or stick it out one more year with McCoy. This option seems much more preferable than using a high pick on a position that hopefully will never see the field in meaningful action.