At this point in the NFL offseason, most discussion is either about the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft or the current NFL Lockout. In poking around the Iast couple days however, I came across some links related to the quarterback position that I thought I'd share. Discussion about the 49ers quarterback situation can get rather impassioned but I figured there isn't much else to get us fired up on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
This post was "inspired" if you will by this article by Adam Caplan discussing potential landing spots for Eagles QB Kevin Kolb. Caplan lists several teams with probable interest including the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans. He separates out the 49ers as a team "likely with moderate interest." He drops them down to this notch because he does not see it as a slam dunk that the 49ers will make a hard push for Kevin Kolb. He says that based on his various discussions, "The feeling ... is that since the team has a revised front office and new coaching staff, the 49ers might want to build from within." He seems to hedge his bets fairly well with that sentence. He follows that up with this:
What this could mean is that they look to re-signing quarterback
Alex Smith and draft a developmental quarterback, perhaps Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick or Christian Ponder, and have Smith start this season while the younger quarterback is in the learning process. The longer the lockout continues the chances of the team re-signing Smith or acquiring another veteran increases. If the team decides to go hard after Kolb, then they obviously would not look at selecting a developmental quarterback in this draft. Additionally, the 49ers are migrating to a West Coast system on offense - one that Kolb has played in his entire NFL career.
His "what this could mean" paragraph is not exactly shocking to most 49ers fans and has been discussed here at NN a decent amount. In his "likely with moderate interest" group he also includes Minnesota and Cleveland.
A couple of days ago Matt Maiocco spoke with Tony Softli, a former "candidate" for the 49ers GM position. Softli attended Blaine Gabbert's Pro Day and apparently came away thinking Gabbert could fit the 49ers offense:
"Before yesterday, I'd say, 'I don't know,'" Softli told CSNBayArea.com on Friday. "But he showed the athleticism you don't see on film because he was in the shot gun all the time. But he slid and moved, and he threw the ball well on the move. He fits what a lot of NFL people are looking for."
One problem in assessing Blaine Gabbert's pro potential is the fact that he spent so much time in the shotgun at Missouri. He's worked to transition into taking snaps under the center, but shotgun quarterbacks don't exactly have a huge history of success at the NFL level. Although it sounds like Gabbert had a solid performance at his Pro Day, it has to be taken with a grain of salt given the setup that is involved for these workouts.
Softli goes through all the draft-eligible quarterbacks in his discussion with Maiocco so head over and read through that when you get a moment. Whether or not you buy into what Softli has to say, it's always helpful to hear what different people think about a guy.
Finally, I just wanted to point out an interesting tweet from Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In the tweet, Kaepernick said, "So excited right now things went really well." The tweet was from March 18 when he had a private workout with the San Francisco 49ers and would appear to be related to that workout. Drew put together a rundown on Kaepernick yesterday. Given the 49ers quarterback need we'll have plenty more on Kaepernick as we close in on the 2011 NFL Draft.