In five years, who will be the best NFL QBs?


In five years, who will be the best NFL QBs?

Of all the young quarterbacks in football, who will be thebest five years from now?Its an important question. Which young QB would you want tobuild your team around? By young, Im talking incoming rookies and soon-to-besecond year players. Im talking Robert Griffin and Andrew Luck and Cam Newton,that bunch.Whos your favorite for the future, and why?Heres my top-five list.1. Cam Newton (6-5, 248 lbs., 22 years old) He is, and willcontinue to be, better than Andrew Luck. He has a stronger arm, for starters.He flicks bullets around the field like Aaron Rodgers. Hes a betterscramblerrunneroverall athlete than Luck. Hes so big and quick, hes thebest goal-line running back in the NFL. Theres never been a quarterback like Newton. Hes the LeBronJames or the Kevin Durant of the NFL -- a unique phenomenon in the history ofthe sport who will win multiple MVPs.
2. Andrew Luck (6-4, 234 lbs., 22) A rich mans Alex Smith,and heres what I mean. Smith does everything at about a B level. The way heruns, throws, reads the field, all of that -- hes B. Hes not A at anything(unless you count not turning the ball over a physical attribute), and hes notC at anything, either. Luck is the same as Smith, except hes A at everything,not B. But he doesnt have any A attributes like Cam Newton. Luck has an Aarm, not A. Hes an A athlete, not A. Hes even a bit methodical when heplays, like Smith. Dont get me wrong -- I think hell be a perennial ProBowler. But he may never be an MVP. 3. Robert Griffin III (6-2, 223 lbs., 22) He ran a 4.4140-yard dash at the Combine, the fastest time by a quarterback since MichaelVick in 2000. You could make the case that one day Griffin will be a bigger, smarter Vick, whichwould probably make him a Hall of Famer. Heres why hes third on my list. Eventhough hes bigger than Vick, hes not big. Hes Steve Youngs size. So, hesmuch smaller than the linebackers, unlike Newtonand Luck. When he tries to take advantage of his top-notch speed and scramble,hes going to get hit and hes going to get hurt. Thats what happened to Young-- he got concussed so many times he had to retire. Vick has had concussions,too. Pretty soon, the small, fast quarterbacks get hit so violently they haveto stop running, stay in the pocket, and then theyre not so special. Griffin could set theleague on fire in his rookie season -- hes that good -- but Id be nervousbuilding my team around such an injury-risk long-term.

4. Jake Locker (6-2, 234 lbs., 23) Locker is a lot like Griffin -- fast,scrambles, takes huge hits. While Griffinthrows one of the best, most accurate deep balls, Locker is one of the best atthrowing on-the-run. He can throw hard and accurately no matter how fast hesrunning. Ive never seen anything like it. He was very good the few times heplayed his rookie season for the Titans -- he even came one play away frombeating the Saints. If he can avoid injuries hell be a very good player in theNFL.5. Colin Kaepernick (6-4, 230 lbs., 24) Hes done nothingin the NFL to warrant this ranking. He was one of the worst QBs in thepreseason, recording a rating below 30. Andy Dalton, another rookie, led theBengals to the playoffs. Shouldnt he be No. 5? No. I bet Kaepernick turns outbetter than Dalton.Kaepernick is an extraordinary athlete. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at thecombine. He could be the Niners big, deep-threat wide receiver right now. ButHarbaugh wouldnt dream of that -- hes grooming Kaepernick to be hisquarterback of the future. Kaepernick can throw a football as hard as anyone,he just needs to improve his footwork and his accuracy, i.e. quarterbackskills. Hes way behind Daltonand all these other quarterbacks in that department. But hes got Harbaughteaching him -- a huge advantage.

Grant Cohn is a contributing writer for

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.

Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.

Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.

Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:

Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright

* * *

Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

John Benton, who coached on the same staff during Kyle Shanahan’s four seasons with the Houston Texans, has reportedly received permission from the Denver Broncos to interview with the 49ers.

The Broncos hired Benton on Jan. 15 to work as the team’s assistant offensive line coach under line coach Jeff Davidson.

But Denver coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway provided Benton permission to interview with the 49ers, Denver’s 9News reported. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were looking at Benton.

The offensive line coach is the last major position that remains vacant on Shanahan’s staff.

Benton worked last season as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).

Shanahan’s first NFL coaching job was with Houston in 2006, when he coached wide receivers. Shanahan became the quarterbacks coach with the Texans in 2007 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator under then-coach Gary Kubiak.

The 49ers announced nine additions to the coaching staff on Friday.

Also, the 49ers are expected to hire Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, according to The Sporting News. Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.