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Niner Nate-tion Podcast: Are we blinded by a QB’s traits when it comes to the draft?

Former NFL QB Tim Jenkins joins Nate and Leo on today’s episode

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

There has been no shortage of takes when it comes to the 49ers’ quarterback situation and who the team should select if they decide to pick one in April’s draft. Every corner of 49ers Twitter has their guy, some even back up with film, stats, or both. In today’s Niner Nate-tion Podcast, Nate and Leo Luna were joined by former NFL QB Tim Jenkins, who says we could be looking at quarterbacks the wrong way.

“When we evaluate these guys, we overvalue traits. We see a guy who can throw it, we see a guy who is fast and we go, ‘oh my gosh, I love him.’ Do you want to move on from Jimmy G. because he can’t throw? No, the dude can rip it. If he’s in shorts and a t-shirt and he’s throwing to us, our hands hurt. That’s not what makes a quarterback great. What makes a quarterback great is processing [information]...I think we’re all just too traits driven.”

Traits are easy to fall in love with, for sure. When you think of Lamar Jackson, you think of him making dudes look silly in the open field. When you think of Patrick Mahomes, you think of the right arm touched by greatness. Those things are easy to see and even easier to turn into highlight videos.

We don’t usually care about how often a guy audibles into a better play at the line of scrimmage after seeing what the defense lines up in. We don’t usually care about a guy opting not to throw a risky pass on second down in favor of a sure check-down that will set up a manageable third down a play later. Those are the things that you hope John Lynch and the rest of the 49ers’ scouting department are digging their teeth into right now while they decide whether to draft a quarterback.

Once they do those evaluations, what will Lynch and company see out of this year’s incoming quarterbacks? Listen to today’s Niner Nate-tion Podcast to find out!