SF 49ers: Niners get Zach Wilson in latest CBS Sports mock NFL Draft
By Peter Panacy
With the SF 49ers officially out of playoff contention, mock NFL Draft season is upon us. And CBS has a nice Christmas gift for the Niners.
It’s almost as if the folks over at CBS Sports are hearing many an SF 49ers fan’s wishes when it comes to the holiday season.
One of those wishes on the Christmas list is for a new quarterback to thrive under head coach Kyle Shanahan. Despite all that’s gone well for the Niners since Shanahan took over in 2017, one of the things that have mostly eluded the head coach has been an effective and reliable quarterback. Sure, San Francisco has Jimmy Garoppolo under center heading into 2021. But Jimmy G also missed most of 2018 with an ACL tear and at least half of this season because of high-ankle sprains.
Even if you are secure in Garoppolo’s fit within Shanahan’s offense, it’s impossible not to question his availability.
Needless to say, a new quarterback could be had for the Niners in 2021. And CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson thinks that’s exactly what happens in next year’s NFL Draft.
In his pre-Christmas mock, the 12th-selecting SF 49ers grab a name familiar to many a Niners fan, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson:
"Jimmy Garoppolo has battled injuries this season and he’ll only have a dead cap hit of $2.8 million in 2021 should the 49ers be ready to usher in their next franchise QB. Zach Wilson has had a fantastic 2020 campaign and could end up being the No. 2 QB taken when it’s all said and done."
Wilson points out the fiscal reason why San Francisco moves on from Garoppolo. With over $150 committed to players on the 2021 roster, along with 40 pending free agents, next year’s salary cap dropping down to as low as $175 million could prove to be disastrous.
Garoppolo could simply be a cap casualty, nothing more.
And so it would make sense for the SF 49ers to try landing a future franchise quarterback on a cheap rookie deal for the foreseeable future.
Wilson, in that regard, makes sense.
Zach Wilson to SF 49ers has been discussed before.
It’s one thing for Niners fans to clamor for Wilson, who has enjoyed quite the successful season for the Cougars this year.
It’s another to hear another BYU standout speak measures about Wilson, especially when that standout is both a San Francisco legend and Hall of Famer.
Steve Young already sang his praises on KNBR 680 earlier this season, highlighting his belief Wilson could thrive in most offenses at the NFL level:
"There’s no question that he’s capable. The more they ask of him, the better he gets. A good buddy of mine was coaching the kid in high school, and he was telling me there’s something special about this kid. He can do things that no one else can do.The more I watch this kid I’m like I don’t see flaws, I don’t see problems."
Young, one of the most cerebral quarterbacks in modern NFL history, can likely attest to the complex nature of Shanahan’s offense while understanding the mental nuances required to have success within it.
And if the Hall of Famer believes Wilson possesses those traits, it would be hard to dispute.
Either way, the thought of a post-Christmas Wilson gift to the SF 49ers in the 2021 NFL Draft sure would make a lot of the Faithful happy.