The San Francisco 49ers appear to have a pretty good situation at quarterback. Acquired in a trade, Jimmy Garoppolo emerged as a potential franchise quarterback. Rookie C.J. Beathard emerged as a potentially very solid backup quarterback. If the team carries two quarterbacks in 2018, they seem to have their options fairly settled.
But that won’t stop them from considering quarterback options this year. The team will almost assuredly not spend a high draft pick on the position, and they will likely not sign a notable veteran quarterback. But there are some more under-the-radar options to consider.
This year’s Senior Bowl is highlighted by quarterbacks Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield, with Luke Falk in the next tier of quarterbacks. But there are some lesser known products that have a chance to establish themselves. The 49ers met with at least one of them, chatting with Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta following practice this week, according to Jonathan Valencia.
A post-practice meeting could be as simple as a quick chat, but it could also be a chance to set up a more formal meeting with the player. Whether or not that’s the case, it’s hard not to like what Lauletta brings to the table.
Pro Football Weekly writer Eric Edholm wrote a lengthy feature about Lauletta on Wednesday. It was in the context of why he is a perfect fit for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Edholm described him as almost from central casting for Belichick, noting his connection to the Naval Academy and his love of lacrosse.
However, the two most important connections for our purposes are his work in a pro style offense and the player he says he has been regular compared to.
Lauletta played in a pro style offense at Richmond, most notable getting some time with offensive coordinator John Garrett, brother of Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. John only spent one season as OC, but throughout Lauletta’s career he has been able to play in the a pro style offense.
The 49ers drafted C.J. Beathard last year in part because he played in a pro style offense at Iowa. Kyle Shanahan liked that as well as his accuracy. Lauletta completed 63.5 percent of his passes in college, and described his accuracy as “elite.” It remains to be seen how others view it, but if the 49ers like it, that would tick off two important boxes.
Lauletta was asked who he gets compared to, and he cited the 49ers own Jimmy Garoppolo.
“Jimmy Garoppolo, an FCS guy, a guy I’ve been compared to a few times throughout the process,” Lauletta said. “He’s a great guy to be compared to; he’s doing really, really well. That whole system they have, the success speaks for itself.
”You look at the quarterbacks they’ve taken over the years, and I think I fit that profile as far as a guy who processes information well, good football IQ.”
I’m not saying the 49ers need to be drafting a quarterback just because he is compared to Jimmy G, but it certainly adds a little bit of an intrigue factor. I do not expect the 49ers to carry three quarterbacks this year, but it would also not surprise me to see them draft a quarterback to compete with Beathard, and potentially force a trade at some point.
I am a big fan of the Ron Wolf style of drafting quarterbacks fairly regularly, even if you have the position fairly well established. I’m not saying use a day one or two pick on the position, but finding someone to compete later in the draft is not the worst idea in the world.