Editor’s note: Insider Matt Maiocco will have draft content every day leading up to the NFL Draft (May 8-10), including position breakdowns, retrospectives, mock drafts and more; bookmark our Road to the NFL Draft
Jim Harbaugh’s tastes in quarterbacks can best be described as finicky.
And we’re not even talking about his at-the-time-controversial switch of starting quarterbacks during the middle of the 2012 season.
Harbaugh preferred B.J. Daniels over Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace a year ago in training camp. Then, he bumped Daniels off the roster in favor of veteran John Skelton. But Harbaugh's affinity for Skelton lasted only one week before he decided McLeod Bethel-Thompson provided the 49ers with an upgrade.
Backup Colt McCoy was acquired last season for a late-round draft pick. But it did not take Harbaugh long to decide the 49ers could do better. Now, Blaine Gabbert is penciled in as the backup on a one-season trial basis.
So will the 49ers be looking for a young quarterback in this week’s draft?
The simple answer is: Duh.
Harbaugh loves to get his hands on quarterbacks to determine whether he believes that player has what it takes.
Who's here: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Draft needs: The 49ers will definitely bring in a fourth quarterback for training camp to compete for a roster spot. Harbaugh was on the QB trail during the pro-day circuit to take a look at some of the prospects. The third day of the draft figures to be the time when the 49ers would consider adding a signal-caller to the mix.
Good fits: After David Fales (San Jose State) attended the 49ers’ local pro day on April 25, Harbaugh revealed Fales was on his personal list of top-five quarterbacks in this draft. When has any coach ever specifically stated such a revealing part of a team’s draft board before the actual draft? Harbaugh is exceptionally savvy. So, either: 1) Harbaugh has no plan to take Fales; or 2) Harbaugh now figures that nobody will expect the 49ers to take Fales.
If big-armed Zack Mettenberger (LSU) is around on the third day of the draft, he is a legitimate option for the 49ers as he rehabs from ACL surgery he underwent on January 2. Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech) had the best fastball of any QB prospect at the combine since they started using a radar gun to measure the velocity of passes. Thomas’ reported 60 mph unseated Kaepernick (59 mph) for the unofficial honor. Thomas has the kind of arm talent with which Harbaugh would love to work.