New 49ers General Manager John Lynch said Thursday he planned to explore every avenue for finding a quarterback — which is probably smart since he doesn’t have any on his roster at the moment.
With Colin Kaepernick opting out of his deal and the rest of them (Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Thad Lewis) unrestricted free agents they probably didn’t want anyway, the 49ers have a completely blank slate, which forces them to be flexible.
“A lot of people look at it: ‘Oh my gosh, you don’t have any quarterbacks,'” Lynch said. “But that also is somewhat liberating in that you can create this thing — and that position is so critical — in the way you want.”
This week, that begins with the top college prospects, one of which they may be looking at with the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Lynch said they’ve already met with Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer and that “he blew the doors off” their meeting last night.
But he also praised Clemson’s Deshaun Watson (“A great champion.”), North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky (“The more you watch him, the more you like him.”) and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes (“The film’s pretty special.”). It wasn’t a deep dive, but he said he liked the class of them in general.
“My point was: These guys are somewhat getting a bad rap,” Lynch said of the top quarterbacks here this week. “I turn on the film and there’s a lot to like.”
Lynch said he was looking at free agency and “other options” while assembling a depth chart, and didn’t discount the possibility of bringing Kaepernick back as part of the mix.
“We both agreed that under the current contract it wasn’t going to work out,” Lynch said. “But we said let’s not close the door.
“As he hits free agency, that’s something we’ll keep our eyes open and we want him to keep us in mind as well.”
Of course, they’ll be looking at everyone, unless new coach Kyle Shanahan is really planning on revolutionizing the game.