San Francisco needed another body after watching journeyman Thad Lewis go down with a season-ending ACL tear. Colin Kaepernick, meanwhile, is dealing with a “dead arm” and hasn’t thrown a pass at practice in six days.
Kaepernick didn’t dress in Sunday night’s preseason loss to the Texans, leaving presumptive starter Blaine Gabbert, Lewis and rookie Jeff Driskel to deal with Houston’s defense.
The move seems on par with the surprising decision the Broncos made in 2011 to make John Elway their general manager, although Elway did spend a few years in charge of an Arena Football League team before taking the job. Lynch has been an analyst for Fox Sports since 2008.
One advantage Lynch would seem to have? As part of his job with Fox he is able to travel every week and spend his days in meetings with team personnel, executives and coaches as part of his broadcasting responsibilities. This would theoretically give him a complete picture of how some of the league’s more successful operations work.
Along with impressing one of the clubs that needs a quarterback most, Kizer also stood apart from the quarterback field with his size during Thursday’s measurements at the combine. At 6-foot-4 1/2, 233 pounds, he proved to be the biggest of the combine’s QB prospects. And Lynch wasn’t shy about acknowledging that the club is in the market for a young passer.
“Look, I don’t think you need to be too transparent to realize that’s a position we’re looking at. We don’t have any (quarterbacks), so that’s a position that’s a big focal point of our preparation right now,” Lynch said.
Watson, Trubisky, Kizer and wholesale jerseys and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes are regarded as the draft’s top four quarterback prospects. Which will be selected first, however, is a tough projection. NFL.com analyst David Carr wrote last week that Trubisky is the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft. NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock ranks Kizer, because of his long-term potential, as the best of the group, while NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly projects Watson as the first QB selected, to the Chiefs at No. 27 overall.
Of those four clubs, the 49ers have the greatest immediate need for a quarterback, though the Bills, Cardinals and Chiefs could be interested in a rookie quarterback to develop as a starter for the future. Clubs are known for misdirection at this time of year to cloud their draft intentions, but Pegula’s presence at the workouts of Trubisky and Kizer would suggest a credible level of seriousness in the former Tar Heels star by the Bills.
A top target and leading punt returner, Kerley has understandably found a comfortable fit in San Francisco. During Super Bowl week, he said of playing with the 49ers, “I feel like I’m at home.” He also sounded optimistic about the roster’s talent, saying the Niners just need to add a “couple pieces.”
With zero quarterbacks on the active roster and a six-year rebuild on the way, new coach-GM pairing Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch had to lock down the few key offensive players they have in the facility. They’ve done that five days ahead of the new league year by signing Kerley.
Clark recorded 506 catches for 6750 yards and 48 touchdowns in his eight-year career with the 49ers. He won two Super Bowls with San Francisco (XVI, XIX) and later served as the team’s general manger in 1998.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of Dwight’s recent diagnosis,” 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement from the team. “As a member of our family, he will receive the full and unconditional support of the San Francisco 49ers. Many know Dwight as an iconic figure in 49ers lore, whose accomplishments on the field brought joy to fans around the world.