The 2016 NFL Draft is 24 days away, which means only three more weeks of mock drafts! The San Francisco 49ers hold the seventh overall pick of the draft, and yet it still feels a lot like guess-work in what people are projecting to the 49ers. The bulk of mock drafts view quarterback as a likelihood at No. 7, but given Trent Baalke's history, and given the question marks surrounding the 2016 quarterback prospects, I'm just not sure.
In SB Nation's latest 2016 NFL mock draft, Adam Stites takes the reigns from Dan Kadar, but quarterback remains on the radar. Adam has Carson Wentz going to the Cleveland Browns, and Jared Goff going to the 49ers. Here's what he has to say about the 49ers pick:
Colin Kaepernick trade or not, the Chip Kelly era in San Francisco would be best served with drafting a talented young quarterback after finishing 2015 with the fewest points scored. Outside of a disastrous game against Utah, Goff showed that he has poise in the pocket and good decision-making, and may be the only quarterback in the draft class ready to be a serious contributor as a rookie.
I do think the 49ers will draft a quarterback at some point over the three days of the 2016 NFL Draft, but I am still a bit skeptical it happens in round one. This will all depend in part on how much Chip Kelly is prepared to push on a quarterback. It will also depend on who potentially trades up, and what options are available at No. 7. If Myles Jack or DeForest Buckner are available, it would make some sense to get a defensive centerpiece and grab a quarterback later.
The only other first round quarterback in recent mock drafts has been Paxton Lynch. In Adam's mock, Lynch is going No. 31 to the Denver Broncos. My guess is that if Lynch slips down to the end of the first round, we see someone move up from the second round to make a deal happen. I don't know what the 49ers think of Lynch, but if they like him or Connor Cook and did not go QB in the first round, maybe that's what finally spurs a Colin Kaepernick trade. Or maybe the Los Angeles Rams make the move. They hold the 12th (Sam Bradford trade) and 14th picks of the second round. It would be significantly easier to move up into the end of the first round than move from No. 15 into the first six or seven picks of the first round.
Beyond that, could anybody else surprise us? A team could move up, or maybe someone really falls for Connor Cook. He seems like the one quarterback who could end up in the back end of the first round. There are plenty of question marks, but there is some intrigue there.