- Bill Williamson, ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter
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The 49ers may be looking for a quarterback to develop in the mid-rounds. While Garoppolo could go in the second round, Thomas could be available late in the third round. ESPN analyst Jon Gruden did not work with either quarterback during his famous Gruden QB camp. But Gruden still has an opinion on both players.
He expressed his thoughts on the two players during a recent conference call. Let’s take a look:
On Thomas: “He's been in a couple different systems. He is a player I first saw a couple years ago. He reminded me of Cam Newton for obvious reasons. A dual threat that had physical presence at the position that was rare. He just hasn't come along as a passer, a consistent passer, like maybe some people think. He had his ups and downs at the Senior Bowl. It was clear it wasn't consistent. When you're not consistent at the quarterback position, you're going to be downgraded. I think that's why Logan Thomas is where he is in terms of the draft boards. When you stand next to him and look at him, see him run around, you can see he has the ability to play a number of positions. Somebody with a creative offensive mind will get him and hopefully get the best out of him."
On Garoppolo: “Where Garoppolo jumped most at me was in the East West practices and the Senior Bowl. I think he looked like he belonged. When I met Jimmy, I met a very sharp, eager young prospect that has size. But Garoppolo has improved tremendously over his last two seasons. They've won two Ohio Valley Conference championships. He's not a finished product. He's going to have some growing to do because of the system he comes from. But he's a big, sharp prospect that I know a lot of people like.”
Two of the quarterbacks San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has played close attention to this offseason are Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo.