Believe it or not, some prognosticators are already conducting mock drafts for the NFL's 2010 Draft.
While it may be way too early to conduct mock drafts–there is still an entire 2009 NFL season yet to be played (not to mention a 2009 college football season), it may not be too early to take a look at who might be available to the 49ers in next year’s draft.
Assuming a record next season of somewhere between 7-9 and 9-7, the 49ers will most likely find themselves in the middle of the draft.
Armed with two first-round picks, the 49ers may see a top-notch college quarterback fall to them in the middle rounds. Or, they may choose to trade up to nail down the always elusive franchise quarterback.
Which leads us to the question of who the 49ers should take.
Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow are all mentioned as possible first round picks in next year's NFL draft. Lets compare these prospects in summary fashion.
Tim Tebow. Tebow is 6' 3" and weighs 240 pounds. He has thrown for nearly 6400 yards and 67 touchdowns in his college career at Florida and still has his senior year to play. Throw in a Heisman Trophy which he won as a sophomore, the Maxwell Award as the nations top football player, the Davey O'Brian Award as the Nations top quarterback, and the James E. Sullivan Award as the nations top amateur athlete in any sport and you have what appears to be a lock for the number one overall pick in next year's draft.
Not so fast.
Many of the pundits brave enough to hold mock drafts have Oklahoma's Sam Bradford winning that distinct honor.
Sam Bradford. Bradford, last year's Heisman trophy winner is 6' 4" and weighs 218 pounds. He has already thrown for 7,800 yards and 86 touchdowns and is only a junior for this upcoming season with the Oklahoma Sooners. It is hard to imagine Bradford not coming out as a junior for next year's NFL draft, with his impressive stats coming in such a short stint as quarterback.
Colt McCoy. McCoy is 6' 3" and weighs 210 pounds. As the quarterback for the Texas Longhorns, McCoy has thrown for over 9700 yards and 85 touchdowns as he prepares for his senior college season. He was the runner up for the 2008 Heisman Trophy and is undoubtedly a preseason favorite for this year's Heisman Trophy.
So, who do the 49ers take among these three top notch college quarterback prospects in next years draft?
The answer in my opinion is "None of the above."
Am I nuts you ask?
Let me explain my logic.
Generally speaking, Heisman Trophy-winning college quarterbacks don't always fare well in the NFL. I know that there are exceptions to this rule, but there are also too many "can't miss" Heisman Trophy-winning college quarterbacks who's NFL careers have been, shall we say, forgetful?
I, for one, prefer a hungry scrapper as my next 49ers quarterback.
Give me someone who has slipped in the draft and is eager to prove the pundits wrong. A Tom Brady in the sixth round or a Joe Montana in the third round or even an undrafted free agent in Kurt Warner who has been to more than one Super Bowl in his NFL career after playing Arena Football.
The 49ers quarterback of the future is out there. He may be someone we are not even thinking of at the moment or he may be already on the 49ers roster.
One thing is certain, 49ers new team President Jed York will want to have a quarterback on his roster who can live up to the legacy of past great 49er quarterbacks. The likes of which include Y.A. Tittle, John Brodie, Joe Montana and Steve Young.