High drama awaits in Berkeley on New Years' Eve! Cal quarterback Jared Goff has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. PT on Thursday to announce his plans for the coming year. He still has eligibility left, but all expectations are that he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
Goff set the single season Pac-12 passing record, and even his own head coach Sonny Dykes said there really is no decision to be made. I believe Cal is welcoming in a transfer quarterback for 2016 that has one more year of eligibility, which would make it seem even more likely that Goff will in fact turn professional.
The San Francisco 49ers currently hold the fifth pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. The Tennessee Titans are sitting in the top position, and are likely to finish the season No. 1 overall. They are not going to play Marcus Mariota in Week 17, and with Houston looking to clinch the AFC South, I expect the Titans to get rolled on Sunday.
The rest of the top four includes the Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers, and Dallas Cowboys. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Baltimore Ravens are all behind the 49ers, but could move ahead of them if the 49ers beat the Rams on Sunday.
From that entire group, there are a handful of teams that might target Jared Goff or Paxton Lynch on day one. The Titans, Jaguars, and Dolphins definitely will not be going quarterback in round one. The Chargers and Cowboys have their quarterbacks of the present, but they very well could decide to draft a young QB early to groom for the future. The Browns have Johnny Manziel, so quarterback definitely could be on their radar. And of course, trades could also change things up considerably.
This is all assuming the 49ers actually have the quarterback position at the top of their wish list. I think they look quarterback, but I doubt they go for one in the first round. It just does not strike me as Trent Baalke's style. There are a lot of options, whether it be pass rush, offensive line, cornerback, trade, or so much more. But, a draft with Goff and Lynch will make for some interesting analysis over the next four months.