Winner: 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, general manager John Lynch
Getting the right quarterback at No. 3 overall this year will effectively put an end to the elongated discussion about how the Niners passed on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson to instead select former Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas with the team’s first pick back in 2017.
Thomas, now a member of the Las Vegas Raiders, never panned out to desired levels. And while San Francisco has made the Super Bowl once since that point, its situation at quarterback has remained in flux.
Hence the 49ers’ recent move.
But grabbing a quarterback right now in the NFL Draft creates a win for Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch beyond just righting a mistake from four years ago.
The Niners have a good deal of talent elsewhere on the roster, and much of it is still playing on rookie contracts. All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner is due a massive contract extension soon, and future extensions for EDGE Nick Bosa and wide receiver Deebo Samuel aren’t too distant down the line either.
Landing a top-quality quarterback and having him play on a rookie contract for the next four or five years opens up San Francisco’s chances to spend that money elsewhere, ensuring its roster remains at a Super Bowl level well into the middle portions of the decade.
That’s a massive win for Shanahan, who has experienced just one winning season since taking over the job.