With the addition of Nate Sudfield, that’s probably a bad sign for either Jimmy G or Josh Rosen. Also, the 49ers had a familiar face visit in Ronald Blair. A healthy Blair would serve as a great backup pass rusher.
Garoppolo is set to count $26.38 million against the cap in 2021. San Francisco can save a whopping $23.6 million by trading him. This is no small deal given that the NFL salary cap decreased in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moving off Garoppolo would enable the 49ers to potentially add another star player in a trade. Allen Robinson, anyone? In turn, they could potentially target a cheaper option in Gardner Minshew to be the stopgap quarterback.
It’s also well known that Garoppolo was not happy once he heard that the 49ers moved up to three. San Francisco’s brass made that clear during a recent post-trade press conference. How would a potential training camp battle between the veteran and an unnamed rookie look? Given how much support Jimmy Garoppolo has from his teammates, it could lead to some major drama.
Field Yates of ESPN reports that Blair visited with the 49ers.
Blair was released in March after spending the entire 2020 season on the physically unable to perform list. Blair tore his ACL in a November 2019 game against the Seahawks.
Blair joined the 49ers as a fifth-round pick in 2016 and played in 47 games during his first four seasons with the team. He had 88 tackles, 13.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in those appearances.
If Blair’s healthy, he’ll likely get a chance of contributing up front on someone’s defense. If things went well on Wednesday, he may be doing it in familiar surroundings.
All of those things are valid reasons to believe each quarterback would fit with San Francisco. None of them are stone-cold “the 49ers are picking this player” reports. They’re guesses from the analyst or from sources with other clubs that don’t seem to take into account what Shanahan said about what type of quarterback he’s looking for. Or perhaps Shanahan was lying when he talked about what he wants under center. Who knows?
The bottom line on all the conjecture regarding the 49ers’ definitive interest in one player at the No. 3 pick – it’s hard to envision the ever-secretive 49ers who kept their move up to No. 3 under lock and key, suddenly leaking their intended pick to anyone who would listen. There’s no value in making their intended pick known a month before the draft, especially with the No. 2 pick still up in the air.
“That’s why I think it can be harder when those types of guys are going through competitions because even though you’re trying to find the best guy, by trying to be fair to those quarterbacks, you’re also being unfair to a team,” Shanahan said.
This is not to say the signing of Sudfeld points toward or eliminates the 49ers from selecting Justin Fields, Trey Lance or Mac Jones in the draft.
Perhaps, the 49ers do not see much of a difference between the pocket-passing abilities of the quarterbacks already under contract and the rookies they are known to be considering.
Fields and Lance are far-more accomplished in the run-pass option game. Jones, like the other quarterbacks on the 49ers, presents no threat with his running ability.
But if those young quarterbacks provide just as much — or more — skill from the pocket, the mobility aspect they bring to the table is just a bonus.
And therefore many more play-action snaps than Mac Jones. So, how strongly do you think Lance’s pro-style experience appeals to Shanahan?
I would think it would appeal to him. But again, now we’re speculating about getting inside Kyle’s head. I can’t speak to what exactly Kyle thinks.
All we have is track record. And track record is that Kyle’s quarterbacks, wherever he’s been, have run conventional play-action as a meaningful and significant part of his offense. Quarterbacks under center, run game, two backs and — by the way — the fullback in 2019 at North Dakota State wore No. 44 (the number of 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk). So, how about that?
But anyway, (Lance) is more advanced and refined than any quarterback in this draft class when it comes to conventional play-action. That doesn’t mean he’s more advanced and refined in every way. He’s not. But again, that’s a learned trait.