San Francisco 49ers: 5 Steps for a Successful 2016 Offseason

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Oct 31, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jaylon Smith (9) leaves the field after Notre Dame defeated the Temple Owls 24-20 at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t Draft a Quarterback in Round 1

OK, so Cal quarterback Jared Goff may be the favorite to become the future 49ers signal-caller should he fall to San Francisco in Round 1 of the 2016 NFL draft.

And, in all likelihood, the 49ers will probably target Goff according to many experts like CBS Sports’ Rob Rang and Dane Brugler. Even so, Goff may not be tabbed the starter next season should the 49ers, as is very possible, start incumbent quarterback Blaine Gabbert in 2016.

General manager Trent Baalke got his developmental Round 1 prospect last year in defensive end Arik Armstead. First-round prospects typically need to be players of immediate impact. Armstead isn’t quite there yet. And even if a top-15 or 20 rookie develops into something after a couple of seasons, the team is missing out on a year or so of consistent impact.

San Francisco needs to spend its 2016 first-round pick on a player who can immediately deliver results.

A lot of this depends on where the 49ers wind up in the draft order, but just imagine a player like Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III or Notre Dame outside linebacker Jaylon Smith being on the board for San Francisco.

The 49ers could then utilize their second-round pick on a quarterback like Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg should he fall to them in Round 2. Hackenberg could then take a year or so to develop before being handed the starting job.

Next: 2016 Draft Class