Most fans want the quick fix. Draft a quarterback now and begin the rebuilding process. I would say that while the QB is the most important position on the team, it is not the only position on the team. Here are a few reasons that San Francisco might wait a year to draft a QB.
1. Harbaugh has had success working with QBs
So if he thinks he can fix Alex Smith, let him have a year to try. He has done some good work with QBs in the past.
Yes, Andrew Luck was a highly recruited QB coming out of college, but that does not always translate to success on the field.
He also turned Josh Johnson from a Division 1AA quarterback into an NFL player.
2. A Questionable QB class
I don't care what you think about this QB draft class, but there is no sure thing. I have not heard one draft guru even have a strong opinion about the second tier of QBs.
Here is a look at the top two round possibilities:
-Blaine Gabbert: The best QB in the draft, but has not played in a pro style system and did not put up great numbers during his career.
-Cam Newton: Great Athlete but comes from a one read offense and has limited starts at the major college level.
-Jake Locker: Also a great athlete but has had accuracy problems throughout his career.
-Christian Ponder: Is an injury concern. Has had multiple arm injuries that have affected his arm strength.
-Colin Kaepernick: Quarterbacked out of the pistol offense
-Ryan Mallett: Has major off the field question marks and has no mobility
-Andy Dalton: Comes from a spread offense
I am not saying that none of these guys will be good, but they all need to develop, which is another reason to have a veteran QB like Alex Smith.
3. Strong QB class next year
Whether or not Andrew Luck is available when the Niners pick next year, it is an overall better class.
Here are the likely candidates for next year's class:
Andrew Luck: Right now the Niners would probably need to have the first pick overall to draft him, but you never know what difference a year will make (ask Matt Leinart or Jake Locker)
Matt Barkley: He will be draft eligible next year and will have three years starting experience in a pro style offense.
Ryan Lindley: If you haven't heard of him, you soon will. He has a great arm and has been under Brady Hoke's staff, who turned Nate Davis into an NFL QB.
Kirk Cousins: Another QB with good NFL size coming out of a traditional style offense.
The Rest: Kellen Moore, Nick Foles, Steven Garcia and whomever else emerges during the season.
I don't know if this group will be more successful in the long run, but I believe they will be more ready to start right away.
4. A QB does not a team make.
The truth is that the Niners are in a weak division and an upgrade at QB could probably get them to the playoffs. Do not kid yourselves: this team needs more than just a QB. Not drafting a QB in this draft would allow the front office to spend a full draft just on building a team that will be ready for a quarterback to step in right away and be successful.
Another year with Alex Smith and a late round rookie draft pick may be hard to swallow but it may help the team in the long run.