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Is San Francisco’s quarterback of the future already in the NFL?

Posted By Jason Rossi On Jan 17 2011 @ 9:01 pm In San Francisco 49ers | 2 Comments

The NFL is a quarterback driven league and as yet, the 49ers do not have their driver of the future.  Long ago were the days of Joe Montana, Steve Young and even Jeff Garcia.  The 2010 season has shown that the 49ers single biggest weakness (on the field) was at the quarterback position.  It is certain that the 49ers will not be re-signing Alex Smith at the end of the season.  And while Troy Smith did show some promise, his sideline meltdown with former head coach Mike Singletary may give the new head coach some pause.

During coach Jim Harbaugh’s first press conference as the 49ers head coach, he was asked if he would run a West Coast style of offense.  He said he will.

So now the search begins for a quarterback who can successfully run the West Coast offense.

I believe that Stanford QB Andrew Luck would have been the best candidate in the college ranks to run this type of offense.  With the announcement of his return to school for his senior year, he is not a viable option for this season.

The next big QB name from the college ranks is Auburn QB Cam Newton.  However I don’t think he would be the right type of QB to run this style of offense.  I also don’t think he will still be on the board come the 7th pick.

I think the 49ers starting QB for the 2011 season (assuming there is one) is already playing in the NFL.

The biggest free agent name of the year will be Peyton Manning, but I won’t waste my time on this one.  I would be shocked if the Colts do not resign him.

Michael Vick is going to be a free agent but the Eagles will probably put a Franchise Tag on him for next year.  But, Eagle’s back up Kevin Kolb is looking to be a starter in this league, and I think the 49ers could get him for a good price.  I know that during my pre-game post between the Eagles and 49ers I called Kevin Kolb a check down quarterback, but the West Coast offense is built around the short pass.  I think he would be a good fit.

Another option could be Kyle Orton.  There are still a lot of questions on what John Elway and the Bronco’s top brass will do with the QB position, but on the off chance that they decide to go with Tim Tebow , Orton could be looking for a new starting gig.  In the first 14 weeks of the season he threw for 3,653 yards, 20 touchdowns, 9 picks and a passer rating of 87.5; a viable option.

Donovan McNabb will likely be available, but the 49ers should stay away.  I have never been a big fan of McNabb and I also think he is on the declining side of his career.

Speaking of underachieving, high draft QB, Carson Palmer might be looking for a change out of Cincinnati.   I think he would be a good fit for the 49ers.  He has a decent arm (although it is not what it used to be before injuries), and did play his college ball at USC.

Here is another aspect to consider.  Andrew Luck will be in the 2012 NFL Entry draft.  If the 49ers are able to land Luck, Carson Palmer would be a great mentor for Luck as he adjusts to the life in the NFL.

Overall, I think Kevin Kolb is the best candidate for the job, with an outside chance given to Carson Palmer.

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