San Francisco 49ers: Bill O'Brien

As I end a day of meetings at ESPN headquarters, I see that Jim Harbaugh is making news again.

This time, it’s for a reason that relates to his work -- he is looking at another quarterback.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Harbaugh was one of two NFL coaches at Northwestern’s pro day (the other was new Houston coach Bill O'Brien). Both men were there to see Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and put him through a private workout.

Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, worked out several quarterbacks in 2011, his first year as the 49ers' coach. He ended up taking Colin Kaepernick in the second round. Now, the 49ers may be poised to select a backup for Kaepernick.

The 49ers have the No. 56 and No. 61 picks in the second round. If the right quarterback is there, I could see them biting, although I thinks it's more likely the 49ers would be apt to take a quarterback in the third or fourth rounds.

Garoppolo is likely a second-round pick -- he does have mobility and could fit what the 49ers do. I usually don't put a lot of stock in pre-draft scouting. But when it comes to quarterbacks it’s a different story, especially when Harbaugh is involved.

I think Garoppolo is definitely a player to keep an eye on for the 49ers. Here are some other quarterbacks the team could look at throughout the draft process.

49ers' mock draft

January, 23, 2014
Jan 23
Now that the San Francisco 49ers' season is over, we will occasionally do a mock draft for their first round pick.

The 49ers will have the 30th pick in the first round. I truly believe the 49ers will (and should) trade up in the first round. They have 13 picks in the draft, but their roster is deep. There is no way that many draft picks will be able to stick around the program. I think the 49ers should trade up (perhaps a few times) and add some impact players.

But what we know now is they have the 30th pick, so that’s what we will work with. Here is my first stab at the 49ers' mock first-round pick:

Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson: Robinson has NFL size at 6-foot-3, 204 pounds and he is NFL-ready after being coached by new Houston coach Bill O'Brien. He was productive in college and showed good separation. He could fit in with 49ers immediately, giving quarterback Colin Kaepernick another weapon. He could also be a good long-term choice with Anquan Boldin being a free agent and Michael Crabtree entering the final year of his contract.