49ers might draft QB high — but not with top pick

Posted March 30, 2011 @ 4:42 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Nobody doubts the 49ers’ dire need for help under center. But the way we hear it, unless Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert somehow falls to the No. 7 spot in the first round of the upcoming draft, nobody is expecting the team to use its first pick on a quarterback. But as far as the Niners using either their second- or third-round pick on a signalcaller — such as Florida State’s Christian Ponder, Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick or TCU’s Andy Dalton, to name a few — team insiders are getting different signals altogether.

“They could definitely go after one of those guys relatively high,” said one source on the scene. “I know they’re very interested in Dalton and have seen an awful lot of Kaepernick, who played his bowl game (Kraft Fight Hunger) in San Francisco. But I still think a ‘bridge guy’ via free agency or trade will end up being the starter.”

With the dramatically revamped Niners regime remaining tight-lipped to an extreme, it has been very hard for our sources to get a good read on the actual veteran QBs the team might be looking at. With the Eagles seemingly intent on wanting the Niners’ first-round pick in exchange for Kevin Kolb, it’s unlikely the Philly backup is seriously on the team’s radar. It appears a far more likely option could be Seahawks veteran free agent Matt Hasselbeck. Former Niners GM Scot McCloughan works for the Seahawks, and the Niners’ personnel staff is pretty familiar with Hasselbeck’s body of work.