Around Midnight, it was confirmed that head coach Mike Singletary would be fired following elimination from the NFC West championship.
Team President Jed York has stated that a new GM, coach and quarterback will be addressed at the conclusion of this season.
However, York went on to state that the 49ers will be looking at the 2011 NFL Draft to find their new quarterback.
The 2011 draft class is loaded with quarterbacks, but the Niners will have to look hard to avoid a draft day disaster like in 2005, with the selection of Alex Smith over Pro Bowler Aaron Rodgers.
That being said, a number of trade ups or downs are possible, and it should make for an interesting draft day come this April.
It can be said, without question, that the 49ers will be watching the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Ryan Mallett will be leading his 10-2 Razorbacks against an always tough Ohio State team, which has been the subject of the latest drama with the NCAA anti-benefits.
Mallett has looked impressive all season and has been drawing comparisons to Phillip Rivers. If you watch just one drive of Arkansas offense, you will automatically see pro quarterback in Mallett.
Stanford's Andrew Luck is the top QB prospect, and San Francisco could trade up to select him. Also, what could be interesting would be if the Niners can land Stanford's coach Jim Harbaugh and then draft Luck from an always possible slide or a trade up.
The Second Round selection almost has to be a corner back. Unless some stud drops who happens to be of San Francisco's needs, such as DE, it is pretty definite that the 49ers need to draft a corner.
That being said, this class holds a ton of 1st and 2nd round prospects, and the 49ers very well could come away with a first round talent.
Ras-I Dowling once was a top prospect, but after emerging corners and a so-so season, Dowling has found himself in the Second Round.
Dowling will provide the 49ers with corner depth, and eventually after Nate Clements and his hideously large contract are gone, Dowling should make for a nice number one or two corner depending if San Francisco doesn't feel content on just Dowling.
Isaac Sopoaga needs to go. Ray McDonald can stay and keep his role as a backup. Sam Acho or anyone they do draft should start from Day 1 over Sopoaga.
In my opinion they should have been starting Parys Haralson at the end position and had Travis LaBoy as the occasional pass-rusher at the OLB position.
However, Acho will provide a stronger pass rush then Sopoaga and could take over for Justin Smith as the team leader of sacks in just a year or two.
One: A Franchise Quarterback. 2005 Draft was a failure. Alex Smith failed to be the next great 49er quarterback. Andrew Luck, Ryan Mallett, or even Jake Locker have a chance to do what Smith failed to do.
Two: Which leads to number two. A real coaching staff. One thing that probably held back Alex was these garbage coaches. Mike Martz and Norv Turner were solid coordinators for him, but keeping them for one year isn't going to help. Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary were both good at what they did before they came here. Nolan is a good defensive coordinator in Miami and Singletary was coaching one of the best linebacker cores in the game. However, neither should have been head coaches.
The 49ers need to go after an offensive minded coach who has a history of producing successful quarterbacks.