The 2018 NFL Draft is an important one for the San Francisco 49ers, but they will enter it without one glaring need they had at the beginning of this past season: quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo played extremely well down the stretch since the 49ers traded a second-round pick to acquire him from the New England Patriots.
Fortunately for the 49ers, there are plenty of other teams with a need at quarterback, and plenty of quarterbacks who figure to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 49ers will pick ninth or 10th in the first round, and above them are four teams I think could be interested in drafting a quarterback: the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Denver Broncos and New York Jets.
All four of those teams could conceivably pick a quarterback, while the Indianapolis Colts, Browns (again), Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders are all likely to pass on a signal caller in the first round. Those teams could be candidates for trade though, if other needy teams — there are plenty — want to move up to draft one of the eligible quarterbacks.
Those quarterbacks include Sam Darnold of USC, Josh Allen of Wyoming, Josh Rosen of UCLA, Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, among others. All five of those have declared for the NFL Draft, and all five could go in the top half of the first round.
And if they did, it would be great for the 49ers. San Francisco has plenty of glaring needs from cornerback to the offensive line, and the more teams that are targeting quarterbacks, the better. Had the 49ers not traded for Garoppolo, they’d likely be looking at one of those five quarterbacks (and a higher pick than ninth or 10th in the first round).
I imagine the 49ers feel very, very good about not needing a quarterback going into such an important offseason.