Jim Harbaugh was brought in to fix the San Francisco 49ers. And it’s no coincidence that they brought in a former quarterback who helped develop Josh Johnson and Andrew Luck at the college ranks.
Make no mistake about it, Harbaugh’s job is to find the 49ers a franchise quarterback and turn him into a star. So could they really afford to go through this draft, which is relatively deep with signal callers even if it’s lacks an elite player, without taking one?
Harbaugh and Baalke have the picks to move up to No. 1
Cam Newton doesn’t appear to be a Harbaugh kind of quarterback, but Blaine Gabbert would fit the mold.
To the best of my knowledge the 49ers have not brought Gabbert in for a workout, however, Harbaugh was present at Missouri’s pro day. It’s unlikely that he’ll fall to No. 7, so could the 49ers trade up?
We haven’t see a pre-draft trade involving the No. 1 pick since the Falcons moved up for Michael Vick, but it could happen this year. The Panthers would presumably love to trade down, since there is not a clear-cut top prospect in the draft and there are a number of teams out there desperate for a quarterback.
Due to the lockout no players or future picks may be traded on draft day. This means that the 49ers, who own a league-high 12 picks have the most ammunition to make move up.
According to the trade value chart the No.1 pick is worth 3,000 points. It’s unrealistic to expect the 49ers to match that point total, but if the Panthers are willing to lower the asking price they could get a nice package in return.
The Niners could offer the 7th, 45th, 108th and 115th picks (still leaving them with their 3rd-round selection) which equals 2,102 points on the trade chart. That trade would give the Panthers a 2nd round pick (which they currently lack after trading it for Armanti Edwards in one of the worst draft-day deals of all time) and a total of eight picks in the first four rounds.
It’s a long shot, and 49ers have not given any strong indication that they want Gabbert, but don’t be shocked if they swoop in a the last minute and climb up to No. 1.