Round 1, Pick No. 30: Quarterback Derek Carr
Original Pick: Defensive Back Jimmie Ward
At the time, there seemed to be no reason for the 49ers to draft a quarterback so high. Then-QB Colin Kaepernick had just come off back-to-back trips to the NFC Championship game, had taken his team to a Super Bowl and was viewed as one of the NFL’s rising stars.
All that started to come crashing down in 2014, of course, no one knew that during that year’s draft.
If Trent Baalke and the 49ers had the ability to predict the future, though, now-Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr would have been the guy to grab.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projected Carr to go in Round 1, so a San Francisco selection here at No. 30 wouldn’t have been a reach. If anything, it could have set the franchise up with one of the best young quarterbacks in the league right now.
The No. 11 player overall entering 2017, according to NFL Network’s top-100 list.
Instead, Baalke chose to use his first-round pick on defensive back Jimmie Ward, who despite a rough rookie year, did end up being a solid piece within San Francisco’s secondary.
He still is, but Carr is one of the biggest NFL stars out there. And he managed to slip to Oakland, who picked him up in Round 2 at No. 36 overall.