The SF 49ers could easily take a quarterback early in the 2021 NFL Draft. But in this mock, they stick with Jimmy Garoppolo.
One can cite the limitations Garoppolo has in Shanahan’s evidence, while the proverbial “elephant in the room” is the fact the cap-stressed Niners can save $24.1 million in cap space this offseason by either cutting or trading him.
Yet that would mean opening up a slew of other routes Shanahan and Co. would have to take to replace Jimmy G. A commonly suggested approach would be for San Francisco to use its first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on a quarterback, perhaps someone like BYU’s Zach Wilson. And there are going to be other names out there on draft day, too.
But what if the SF 49ers elect to hold onto Garoppolo next season? What if Shanahan and the Niners front office admit Garoppolo’s 2020 campaign wasn’t entirely indicative of what he’d be able to do when fully healthy and boasting a talented offense around him?
In this mock draft, that’s what happens.
No quarterbacks will be taken here. True, one could be selected in later rounds when the actual draft rolls around. But let’s stick to the theme of a non-quarterback mock, going through each one of San Francisco’s nine projected picks, and selecting at No. 14 overall. After all, the SF 49ers have some other pressing needs given a number of high-profile players are likely to depart in free agency along with some depth concerns on both sides of the ball.
With that, the Niners are now on the clock in Round 1.