Considering the backup quarterback, the 49ers and the 2014 NFL Draft

Harry How

The 49ers are set at starting quarterback with Colin Kaepernick, but do they need to consider backup options earlier in the 2014 draft? New to Niners Nation? Sign up here and join the discussion!

Monday Night Football featured an unexpectedly fun matchup of backup quarterbacks as Josh McCown and Seneca Wallace ended up squaring off in primetime. McCown got the start as Jay Cutler recovers from a groin injury, while Wallace took over for Aaron Rodgers after the Packers signal-caller went down with a left shoulder injury.

McCown in particular looked especially competent, guiding the Bears to a huge divisional win. Whatever the results of Rodgers' shoulder injury, McCown was fairly effective running the Bears offense. Wallace was not overly impressive, and I imagine the Packers are praying Rodgers is ready to go this coming week.

What this has shown us, and to some extent what the 49ers QB situation has shown us, is the value of backup quarterbacks. You never want to see the backup in a game, but you want someone who can be called upon in a pinch.

In the case of the 49ers, we're talking about Colt McCoy and third string QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson. I don't really know at this point if the team is comfortable with the notion of McCoy coming in for anything other than mop-up duty. The 49ers have a strong run game to build on, but if McCoy was in there, I'm pretty certain Frank Gore would find himself running into nine man fronts.

The question is how to address the backup QB position. The 49ers had B.J. Daniels, who looked good in preseason action. However, he's gone, and there's nothing to be done about that.

During Monday Night Football, there was a lot of chatter about how former Packers GM Ron Wolf espoused the theory of frequently drafting quarterbacks, even if your starter was a franchise QB. The Packers had Brett Favre throughout the 90s, and they continued developing quarterbacks.

The 49ers drafted Colin Kaepernick in 2011, and used a seventh round pick on B.J. Daniels last season. Is it time to upgrade the backup with a higher round pick? In the coming weeks, Nick and Trevor will start breaking down some draft positional rankings for you all. In the meantime, my college knowledge is a lot more limited, so here is a quick rundown of Scouts Inc's QB rankings. I'm sure plenty will disagree with this list, but this is more just to get the discussion going.

How early would you draft a quarterback in 2014, if at all?

Quarterbacks
NAME POS HT WT SCHOOL GRADE POS RANK OVR RANK
Marcus Mariota QB 6'4" 211 Oregon 95 1 2
Teddy Bridgewater QB 6'2½" 220 Louisville 94 2 3
Brett Hundley QB 6'3" 227 UCLA 91 3 13
Johnny Manziel QB 6'0" 200 Texas A&M 87 4 30
Zach Mettenberger QB 6'5¼" 242 LSU 81 5 49
AJ McCarron QB 6'3⅜" 204 Alabama 80 6 56
Stephen Morris QB 6'2" 211 Miami (FL) 79 7 59
Logan Thomas QB 6'5⅝" 256 Virginia Tech 77 8 69
Aaron Murray QB 6'0⅞" 206 Georgia 71 9 84
Tajh Boyd QB 6'0¾" 224 Clemson 70 10 91
Derek Carr QB 6'2¾" 209 Fresno State 62 11 113
Braxton Miller QB 6'1¼" 215 Ohio State 60 12 117
Jimmy Garoppolo QB 6'2¼" 222 Eastern Illinois 38 13 171
Bryn Renner QB 6'2¼" 219 North Carolina 34 14 177
David Fales QB 6'1⅜" 219 San Jose State 31 15 183
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