Niner Noise takes a look around the league to see what experts are saying the San Francisco 49ers will do with their first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. And the overwhelming consensus is a quarterback.
A lot can, and will, change between now and the 2018 NFL Draft. But the San Francisco 49ers are likely going to be in the market for a quarterback early.
San Francisco 49ers
Unless Beathard winds up turning more heads than anticipated, though, it’s highly likely general manager John Lynch will be on the hunt for another quarterback in 2018. Whether or not this is through free agency or the 2018 draft is anyone’s guess.
Yet most draft analysts are suggesting this is exactly what San Francisco does on draft day.
So let’s take a look around the league to see what experts are saying about the Niners’ intentions a little less than a year from now.
"Like the Browns, the 49ers were patient during the 2017 NFL Draft and now they’re rewarded with a legit franchise quarterback — assuming, of course, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t find a way to get Kirk Cousins to San Francisco."
"The 49ers just paid Kirk Cousins, so why would they need to draft a quarterback here? They add to their stockpile of young talent with McFadden, the long, and athletic athlete who was a lock-down corner for Florida State in 2017."
"Allen, at 6’5″ and 222 pounds, is exactly what scouts look for in terms of size, strength and athleticism. He has to continue to develop and cut down on interceptions, but the tools are there. And if this draft taught us anything, it’s that teams will gamble on tools.The 49ers may make a huge push to sign Kirk Cousins in next year’s free-agent class given his connection to Kyle Shanahan, but until that happens, they have to be considered the favorites to draft a quarterback."
"There’s already rumors buzzing about Darnold returning to USC for at least one more year after the 2017 season, but I’m not buying at this point. He’s got all the physical tools of a franchise NFL passer, and there’s no ignoring the Trojans’ transformation once he took over the starting job last year. He’s the real deal, and nobody on the 49ers roster has anywhere near his upside."
One should point out the buzz surrounding USC quarterback Sam Darnold’s potential return to the collegiate ranks in 2018. Luke Easterling of Draft Wire isn’t subscribing to these rumors, but any return would shake up the draft order quite extensively.
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Out of the remaining experts quoted, only Dieter Kurtenbach of Fox Sports pegs the Niners grabbing anything but a quarterback.
According to his conclusions, San Francisco makes its run at free-agent-to-be, Kirk Cousins, this offseason — a move I wouldn’t rule out but consider less than likely.
One of my favorite prospects to watch, though, is Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. Maybe I have a thing for small-school players, like Allen, making their way into the upper tier of Round 1. I almost went to Wyoming for college too, so there’s my bias.
But Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, who also pegged Allen as his top QB prospect, is someone whose opinion I respect.
Regardless, one should expect San Francisco to use an early pick on a quarterback this upcoming offseason. Based off what we know now, the Niners are still going to be on the hunt for a franchise-type signal-caller.
Good thing the 2018 NFL Draft has more than a few capable options.