clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

49ers were present for a good Jared Goff workout ... but so were the Browns

Should the 49ers jump ahead of the Browns for either of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft?

The San Francisco 49ers were present at Cal's Pro Day, where top quarterback prospect Jared Goff peddled his wares in hopes of attracting a team early in the 2016 NFL Draft. Goff is essentially a guaranteed top-10 pick barring some kind of controversy between now and the draft, and the 49ers are in an okay position picking at No. 7 overall but there are a couple teams ahead of them who could be in on the Goff sweepstakes.

Heck, if you happen to think Carson Wentz is the top quarterback in the draft, the 49ers may not even have a shot at him given the teams picking ahead of them on draft day. The Dallas Cowboys are probably in the market for a rookie and, of course, the Cleveland Browns are looming at No. 2 overall.

The Browns were there alongside the 49ers watching Goff perform for scouts, coaches, executives and the media. They ran Goff through specific drills, including one where they had him throw a wet football. They saw him throw 69 (nice) scripted passes. They saw him connect on 61 of them, and they saw receivers drop two of them.

Like the 49ers, they are well aware that Goff was pleased with his session overall, but that he also wanted a couple passes back. Like the 49ers, they know Goff is a talented, smart quarterback who can probably play right away, and they know that Goff had issues holding on to the football given his 23 fumbles in three seasons with Cal. They are well aware that Goff gets criticized for his hand size as much or more than anything that happens on the field.

And this is just a guess, but I'm nearly positive the Browns are well aware they own the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Given that I imagine some person within that organizational structure pays some level of attention to the NFL, I'm also assuming they know that the Tennessee Titans, owners of the first overall pick, landed Marcus Mariota last year and are not in the quarterback market.

Cleveland has its pick of the quarterback market and the only thing that can stand in their way is a desperate team making a desperate trade to move up into that first overall slot.

Can the 49ers be that team? Should the 49ers be that team? I previously wrote about whether or not Trent Baalke has what it takes to make a deal if he thinks that Goff or Wentz or even somebody else can be the franchise quarterback. In my mind, if the general manager thinks a guy can be his guy, then he has to pull that trigger in a situation like the one the 49ers are in.

But what about the fans? When I wrote that previous post, I'd done very little film study of college quarterbacks, primarily because of the fact that I've been scrambling to cover free agency with SB Nation. But I had a bit of time recently and I watched a lot of Goff and a lot of Wentz and I am personally on board with the former.

If it were me -- with heavy emphasis on the fact that I'm a sports writer and not an NFL general manager -- I'd feel strongly about Goff to the point where I'd consider him a future franchise quarterback. Going by my previous logic, I think the 49ers should give up the picks required to trade up ahead of the Browns.

That's what it will likely take. The Browns are a disaster of an organization and I'm willing to bet they feel strongly enough about one of the top two quarterbacks to take one of them with the second overall pick. They have to take positive steps, they have to get away from Johnny Manziel. They have to do something.

But should the 49ers do something first?