San Francisco 49ers might give Colin Kaepernick some competition in the 3rd round


The 49ers will no doubt address their immediate needs at wide receiver and cornerback in the first two rounds. Whom they go after from there is anyone’s guess.

There is speculation the 49ers may trade some of their picks in the third and fourth rounds to move up in the first so they can draft a marquee wideout such as Mike Evans or Odell Beckham. But as it stands, they have two picks in the third (Nos. 77-100 overall) and one in the fourth (No. 129).

I see them taking Jimmy Garoppolo at No. 77. Garoppolo is a hot, under-the-radar quarterback prospect (if that’s possible), and the 49ers have shown interest in the 6-foot-2, 226-pound Eastern Illinois product — there was that famous round of catch between him and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh — who completed a staggering 66 percent of his passes for 5,050 yards, 53 touchdowns and nine interceptions as the FCS Player of the Year in 2013.

With his strong arm and quick release, Garoppolo is a solid, top-five QB prospect in the year’s draft. Still, I can see him falling to the third round simply because, again, he’s from Eastern Illinois. If that happens, I think the 49ers will draft him as the backup of the future to Colin Kaepernick. I wouldn’t be surprised if Garoppolo surpassed Blaine Gabbert for the No. 2 spot this offseason.

Who knows? With how well Harbaugh likes him, Garoppolo just might challenge, if not push, Kaepernick in camp. Competition is never a bad thing.

Back to my Chicken Little-like obsession for linebackers — NaVorro Bowman’s injured! Patrick Willis is almost 30! Aldon Smith might go to jail! The sky is falling! I see the 49ers going with another of Harbaugh’s Stanford recruits in inside linebacker Shayne Skov at No. 100.

Skov’s speed and quickness don’t exactly jump off the page, but he was a fixture at Stanford with his sure-tackling and emotional play. He’s a born leader and, at 6 feet 2, 245 pounds, has the ideal frame to play inside in a 3-4 scheme. Willis and Michael Wilhoite holding down the starting jobs at inside linebacker until Bowman returns, so the 49ers can ease Skov into the pro level without throwing him to the wolves.

The beauty about this draft is that it’s deep at the two positions the 49ers need most, cornerback and wide receiver. Even in the fourth round, they can reinforce their depth at both positions with quality picks.

With that in mind, I think they should seriously consider taking Oregon cornerback Terrance Mitchell at No. 129. Mitchell surprised many Duck fans when he announced he was leaving Eugene early, but he has the tools to develop into a solid NFL corner. He has long arms, decent height at 5 feet 11 and great athleticism. Plus, he showed great awareness in college. His biggest knock is that he’s a gambler, but working against the likes of Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin in practice will surely work that out of his system.

What are your thoughts?

Follow Scott on Twitter @SJAdams

– The 49ers can likely make a defensive splash late in the draft. (READ)

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  • rrup

    I hope they get Garoppolo, he seems like a good fit for the niners. , Gabbert doesn’t fit in the system that they play at the niners, besides he hasn’t ever shown all that much.