Cosell: Pittsburgh quarterback Peterman fits 49ers' scheme

Cosell: Pittsburgh quarterback Peterman fits 49ers' scheme

The 49ers have been transparent in their study of five quarterbacks who are generally regarded at the top of this year’s draft class.

The team has acknowledged meeting and attended workouts of Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb.

The 49ers are fully expected to draft a quarterback next week. But that list is not limited to just the five quarterbacks who are expected to be chosen within the first two rounds.

But there are certainly more than just those five options for the 49ers. In explaining recently why the 49ers have shown no interest in re-signing Colin Kaepernick, coach Kyle Shanahan explained he prefers quarterbacks of similar styles who fit his offensive system.

“If you have your pick of the best world, you’d like those guys to be somewhat similar,” Shanahan said, “not just because that’s how you want the quarterbacks, just because of the work you’re doing for the rest of the guys on the roster.”

The best fit for Shanahan’s offense after the projected first wave of quarterbacks is Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman, according to one draft expert. The 49ers have kept their interest in Peterman lowkey. The club conducted a formal interview with Peterman at the NFL scouting combine, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“He can run play-action. He’s played under center. He looks like an NFL quarterback,” NFL analyst and senior producer of NFL Films Greg Cosell said of Peterman. “Some people are going to say that his arm is not strong enough, and that’s valid. It may not be. That’s a decision everybody will make on their own. Some guys might say it’s strong enough. Others might say it’s below the level at which you can be a quality starter. That’ll be in the eye of the beholder.”

Peterman (6 foot 2 ½, 226 pounds) started his final two seasons at Pittsburgh after transferring from Tennessee. During his final two college seasons while running a pro-style offense, Peterman completed 378 of 619 pass attempts (61.1 percent) for 5,142 yards with 47 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

Cosell compared Peterman to Hoyer, whom he noted, “doesn’t have a gun” for a throwing arm. Hoyer is expected to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2017. Hoyer and Matt Barkley are the only quarterbacks on the 49ers' roster.

“Kyle’s offense starts with the quarterback under center and it’s very detailed and precise and there are very few guys in college football who come from those kinds of offenses,” Cosell said.

Cosell included Miami’s Brad Kaaya as a player with significant experience in a system that translates closely to the NFL.

“They played in pro offenses, so they have some conceptual foundation whereas the other guys have no clue,” Cosell said.

“Theoretically, Brad Kaaya fits. I don’t particularly like the player on tape, but he fits. I think he needs an awful lot of work. That comes down to what a coach feels about the kind of work he needs.”

Kaaya (6-4, 214) completed 60.6 percent of his attempts for 9,968 yards in his three-year career. He threw 69 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

49ers' top pick Thomas 'can't wait' to play best friend McCaffrey in Week 1

49ers' top pick Thomas 'can't wait' to play best friend McCaffrey in Week 1

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers open the regular season on Sept. 10 against the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium.

Stanford products Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey will make their NFL debuts in that game across from each other.

Thomas, a defensive lineman, was the No. 3 overall pick of the 49ers. The Carolina Panthers selected McCaffrey with the eighth overall pick.

“I can’t wait to play him,” Thomas said Thursday night on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “You know, that’s my boy. That’s my best friend. I love him to death. I can’t wait to play him.”

Lynch makes former classmate first draft selection as 49ers' GM

Lynch makes former classmate first draft selection as 49ers' GM

SANTA CLARA – Leading up to Stanford’s bowl game, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas was mostly an under-the-radar draft prospect.

John Lynch had known all about him for a few years. He even called some NFL teams to give them a heads-up to watch No. 90 -- long before he was hired to run the 49ers' personnel department.

After trading back one spot with the Chicago Bears, Lynch made Thomas his first selection as 49ers general manager. The 49ers drafted Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick.

“I want to make it the best draft pick he has,” Thomas said on Thursday.

Thomas first met Lynch during his freshman year at Stanford. Lynch returned to Stanford to finish his degree. They took a class together: Management Science and Engineering.

According to MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, they even collaborated on a project of whether the NFL’s Washington team should change its mascot name.

“I remember I was star-stuck the first day of class,” Thomas said.

Thomas said they did not talk much in the following years, but Thomas reached out to Lynch for advice before Stanford’s game against North Carolina in the Sun Bowl.

Said Thomas, “In the pre-draft process before the North Carolina game, he told me: ‘Don’t worry about the external stuff going on. Worry about yourself and your team. The best thing you can do is have the best bowl game possible and show you’re unstoppable and unblockable.”

That is exactly what Thomas did in Stanford’s 25-23 victory over Mitchell Trubisky’s team. Thomas recorded seven tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack.

A month later, Lynch was hired as 49ers general manager and Thomas first began to think about the possibility of being drafted by his former classmate.

“I thought it was definitely a possibility,” Thomas said. “People really hadn’t watched my film yet, so I didn’t know if I’d go that high.”

Thomas was routinely matched with the 49ers in mock drafts in the weeks leading up to Thursday’s first round. The 49ers swapped their second pick with the Chicago Bears, who moved up to select Trubisky.

All along, Thomas said he wanted the 49ers to draft him.

“In my head I thought, ‘I love that, but I can’t ride the rollercoaster and believe that stuff or I’m going to get my heart broken.’ I kept my mind open and came in blind and tried to be happy for any team to draft me,” Thomas said. “But the best team for me drafted me and the best team I wanted to draft me drafted me.

“I love John Lynch. I love the way he played the mentality that he’s going to bring to the team. Coach (Kyle) Shanahan seems like an amazing man and an amazing coach.”