On Monday, the San Francisco 49ers made a trade for Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy. After months of speculation as to who would be Colin Kaepernick’s immediate backup, the 49ers appear to have given themselves another option to compete with third-year passer Scott Tolzien.
Still, McCoy seems like an odd fit for the 49ers, right?
With a low ceiling, subpar arm strength and a knack for happy feet in the pocket, McCoy is as far from an ideal fit behind Kaepernick as you’d expect. What he does offer the 49ers, though, is an experienced passer/scrambler who can push Tolzien for the backup spot and give the team some insurance at the position.
Tolzien has a promising future as an NFL quarterback. Last preseason, he showed impressive poise and control in the pocket and solidified his short-term standing with the 49ers. With Alex Smith now out of the picture, the pressure is on Tolzien to take that next step in his maturation as a professional quarterback.
If he’s not yet ready, McCoy can be that stop-gap No. 2. More than likely, Tolzien wins the battle for clipboard holding duties as Kaepernick’s primary backup, though.
Another positive aspect of this trade is that McCoy has experience running the read-option from his days at the University of Texas. Throughout his college career, the former Longhorns gunslinger racked up 1,571 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground. He may not be anywhere near the runner Kaepernick is, but his experience with the offense wouldn’t force the 49ers to abandon the read-option if No.7 went down.
The best part about the McCoy deal is that they paid virtually nothing to get him.
In return for McCoy and a 2013 sixth-round pick, the 49ers sent the Browns 2013 fifth- and seventh-round picks. So the 49ers gave up one of their four seventh-round picks and moved back nine spots from the late fifth round to the early sixth round for an experienced quarterback with the potential to be a solid backup. Not too shabby if you ask me.
Since he arrived in San Francisco, head coach Jim Harbaugh has made the most of the talent available to him. Maybe he can work some more of that magic and turn McCoy into a quality backup. If not, it’s not like the 49ers gave up much to get him.