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Cohn: Niners would be nuts to draft a QB

The 49ers should not draft a quarterback in the first round. I want to shout that from the top of the Transamerica Pyramid or from the upper deck at Candlestick Park. I want to fly a plane over Northern California trailing a banner with the message: No QB in 1st round for Niners.

Got that?

Draft Week kicks off today and you can read writers and hear pundits (what's a pundit?) proclaim the 49ers need a quarterback and should (and will) use one of their first-round picks to draft one. The 49ers have two picks in the first round, No. 13 and No. 17, and if they use either of those essential picks on a guy who throws a football for a living they are mentally addled.

As a side note I would like to declare with authority the 49ers will or will not draft a quarterback in one of those spots, but I don't know. I don't know for two reasons. First of all, teams always lie this time of year. It's an annual ritual — lie to those media morons; they'll lap it up. So if the Niners say they want a quarterback, that could mean they are looking for a punter.

More important — and this is the big one — the 49ers have not made draft czar Trent Baalke available to columnists, people like me who actually have opinions and share them with the reading public. The 49ers have conducted two media sessions allowing beat writers — writers who cover the team — to interview Baalke. Since there are about 3? Niner beat writers left in the world, those must have been intimate sessions involving celery and onion dip and Billie Holiday records in the background.

You get the feeling the 49ers are protecting Baalke, who took over for Scot McCloughan. I wouldn't know Baalke if I bumped into him in the Niners' Santa Clara Fortress of Solitude. It is never a good sign when the presumptive GM needs protecting. I was on television the other night with David White, the Chron's new 49er beat writer, and David said Baalke is not as articulate as McCloughan and that's why the Niners are limiting his exposure to media.

Not as articulate as McCloughan? McCloughan has difficulty making a subject and verb agree, so if Baalke is not as his level he must speak like Cro-Magnon Man. But as I say, I wouldn't know. I also don't know what his voice sounds like, how he carries himself or how he thinks. This anonymous person is running the draft for your San Francisco 49ers and is their de facto general manager.

Had I been allowed in Baalke's presence. I would have asked about drafting a quarterback in the first round. Because I wasn't there. I am reacting to what's in the air — QB first round, a very bad idea.

Why is it a very bad idea?

It is a very bad idea because the 49ers need to win their division next season — we are talking 2010. The season is ready for the picking because the Niners play in one of the weak divisions in the NFL. You know that. This will be the season Mike Singletary shows once and for all if he is a bona fide coach or just a terrific soundtrack. This will be the season the 49ers show if their modest improvement is for real and truly part of an upward trend. So much needs to happen next season.


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