San Francisco 49ers: 10 biggest ‘what ifs?’ in NFL Draft history
By Peter Panacy
No. 9: What if Trent Baalke drafted Dak Prescott?
2016 is a year most 49ers fans would probably rather forget, as a falling-apart franchise under one-and-done head coach Chip Kelly would ultimately win just two games that forgettable season.
It all kicked off with a weird NFL Draft, too, as then-general manager Trent Baalke continued his odd trend of selecting players coming off serious injuries in college and failed to replenish the talent the Niners lost the previous year.
Yet one missed move could have potentially addressed some of San Francisco’s long-term quarterbacking issues had ever since.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (h/t CBS Sports), Kelly wanted now-Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, yet Baalke vetoed that idea.
“There were a lot of people in that building, including Chip Kelly, I am told, who liked Dak Prescott going into the draft,” Garafolo said. “So the fact that Prescott was tearing it up for the Cowboys while the 49ers were sitting there saying ‘We have an extremely unsettled quarterback situation, we liked this guy before the draft, why is he not on our team?’ That was part of the downfall for Baalke.”
At least the Niners added quarterback Jeff Driskel, right?
Prescott would go on to become a mainstay for the Cowboys and remains so to this day, while San Francisco has started six different quarterbacks in the timeframe since and is still looking to settle on someone who can be a mainstay at the position entering 2021.