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Baalke: Harbaugh Has ‘Big Role’ in QB Evaluation

Posted Feb 21, 2014

Jim Harbaugh continues to have a major role in evaluating quarterback prospects. The 49ers will rely on his opinion in 2014.

INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Harbaugh’s quarterback protégés are currently regarded as some of the best young signal-callers in the NFL.

Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck.

Enough said.


San Francisco’s head coach, a former NFL veteran quarterback himself, certainly knows a good one when he sees one. Harbaugh's knowledge of the position is a valuable asset for 49ers general manager Trent Baalke.

Behind Kaepernick, the 49ers don’t have much depth. Only McLeod Bethel-Thompson is signed for the upcoming season. The team is just beginning the process of evaluating upcoming free agents like Colt McCoy, Baalke said.

When the scouting department huddles together this week at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Harbaugh will be key in the quarterback discussions.

“Jim plays a big role in not only the quarterback position, but when we’ve maintained that we’ve always worked hard together to try and identify the players at every position that fit our system,” Baalke said on Friday. “The most important thing is bringing guys in that not only fit your system but fit the DNA of the type of players you’re looking for.”

As both men approach their fourth NFL Draft working together, Baalke maintained that Harbaugh’s role in the evaluation process remains the same. 

It’s still as important as ever.

“There’s been no change,” Baalke said. “We continue to work hard at it. What we’re trying to do is get it right for the 49ers and the best way to get it right is to be on the same page and to work hard together and try to make the best decisions for the team and the organization as a whole.

“We’re going to continue to do that, so from that standpoint nothing has changed.”

Evaluating the quarterback position is one of the hardest parts of a GM’s job.

“It’s a tough position,” Baalke said. “It’s a tough position to play. Drafting it, getting it right, if anyone had the answer they would be doing it.

“There’s so much that goes on from a mental standpoint, from a physical standpoint. It’s just a very difficult position to play. Some have mastered it and some are on that level of trying to master it. Some will master it.”

Good news for the 49ers, Harbaugh appears to have mastered coaching it.

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