San Francisco 49ers: Given 2010 Goals, Quarterback Is Far From a Need

Andy BenschSenior Writer IJanuary 24, 2010

SANTA CLARA, CA - MAY 01:  Quarterback Nate Davis #7 of the San Francisco 49ers throws the ball during the 49ers Minicamp at their training facilities on May 1, 2009 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have many needs heading into the 2010 NFL Draft, but quarterback is not one of them. Even a late round draft choice on a quarterback is not necessary. Why? Because it is one of the few positions where San Francisco actually has quality depth.

Recently there was an article posted stating that former Heisman Trophy winner and Florida Gator Tim Tebow would make sense as a first round draft pick for the 49ers.

This article, while it was written well and gave good evidence to backup the argument, puzzled true 49er fans.

San Francisco is still trying to figure out whether Alex Smith (their first overall draft choice from 2005) can be the quarterback of the future.

Now as an analyst I have had my doubts about Smith and they are well documented here on Bleacher Report but as for 2010, he is San Francisco's best option.

Smith showed enough improvement last season to where fans should be confident that a full year with him under center will send the 49ers to the playoffs.

Given the team goal to make the playoffs in 2010, the quarterback position is one of the least positional needs on the team.

Not only would drafting any quarterback in the first round add to the confusion of who will be the starter but it would most likely mean the end for one of the current 49er quarterbacks.

However, dumping Smith wouldn't make any sense given the fact that San Francisco hasn't seen him play under the same offense in back to back seasons. Giving up on him now without giving him his fair shake would be a terrible move.

Dumping project quarterback Nate Davis would be odd as well considering his impressive performance in last year's preseason and only time will tell if he can be a future starter. Giving up on him now would essentially be wasting a fifth round draft choice.

And then there is Shaun Hill who proved last season that he couldn't hack it as full-time starter in the NFL due to his lack of arm strength. But the journeyman quarterback has proved to be at the very least, a great insurance package in case of injury.

When you add in the fact that Hill was rewarded with a pay increase before this past season, it would be a waste of money to let him walk this offseason.

Smith, Davis, and Hill all deserve to be back on the squad in 2010 because all three of them bring something a little different to the table.

As a starter, Smith gives the team the best chance to make the playoffs next season. None of the quarterbacks in this year's draft would be able to come in right away and perform better.

Tebow for instance would have to go through the whole transition Smith went through all over again. He would have to learn how to make the change from Urban Meyer's spread system to the pro style offense of taking snaps under center.

Even Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen would have to make various adjustments and learn all the different nuances that come with adjusting to the NFL. Plus neither of these quarterbacks are entering the draft as highly regarded as recent quarterbacks drafted in the first round.

Furthermore, the free agent options at quarterback are extremely thin and even those who have slightly better numbers than Smith would have to learn a new system and new teammates as well.

The whole point of bringing back offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye for another season is for the sake of continuity. Bringing in another quarterback in any fashion doesn't make sense if the 49ers are looking to improve continuity and chemistry.

With the weapons already around Smith, one more playmaker and improved offensive line will create an offense that will be much improved from 2009 and one that has everything needed to make the offense playoff caliber.

If Smith proves to be ineffective or gets injured, making a change to either Davis or Hill, would be a much better route than changing to either a rookie or free agent who has no experience with the system nor with the 49er receivers.

Considering the 49ers have the necessary depth if Smith were to get hurt, drafting a quarterback at any point in the draft would be a waste of a draft choice, much less using a first rounder on a quarterback.

The 49ers have numerous needs on both sides of the ball that are more critical if they want to reach the postseason.

Improving the secondary, pass rush, offensive line, and getting a speed threat at either WR/RB (who can also return kicks) are all more essential needs than quarterback.

When a team has all these other needs and has two first round picks, it would be a step in the wrong direction to use one of them on another quarterback.