The NFL Draft is closing in, and as usual there is buzz aplenty about how it’s all going to play out.
For the 49ers, there’s a clear hierarchy of needs. Matt Barrows joined Murph and Mac on Wednesday to break down the list going into the draft, starting with offensive tackle and defensive end. Listen here:
But Barrows also said that he expects the 49ers to draft a quarterback. That’s fairly interesting given the team’s current hierarchy at the position, with Brock Purdy at the top, but possibly unavailable for the start of the season.
Signs are pointing towards Sam Darnold and Trey Lance dueling for the backup and early starter job, though there has been some talk of the 49ers trading Lance. General manager John Lynch said the team has received some interest for Lance, but that he expects him on the team.
We may soon find out if that is the case, but regardless, Barrows expects another quarterback to join the fray.
“Yeah, I do. I think it’s sixth or seventh round because it’s got to be somebody that you feel you can put on your practice squad safely,” Barrows said. “And when you do that you’re exposing that player to waivers, so it can’t be high profile. I think it’s the Jake Haener line. We’ll call it the Jake Haener line. It has to be somebody not as high profile as Jake Haener, because if you put Jake Haener on waivers to get him to the practice squad, you risk him being snapped up by another team.”
Haener is perhaps the first name outside of the top tier of quarterbacks in this year’s draft, following Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis and Hendon Hooker.
He’s a Fresno State product with quite a bit of buzz around him and who performed at the 49ers’ Pro Day. He’s generally seen as a fourth-round talent.
One player who might fit that mold, and at least one the 49ers have already worked out, is UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson. He’s a projected sixth-to-seventh-round option. Read more on him here.