Did Niners draft Doman to be QB of future?

The team that makes quarterbacks drafted another quarterback Sunday, even though it already has a Pro Bowler in his prime and a young backup at the position. The 49ers definitely have a plan for rookie Brandon Doman, the BYU product they grabbed in the fifth round.

 And, after spending some time on the telephone with fellow BYU alum Steve Young after being selected, Doman has a plan for playing quarterback with the 49ers.

 "I just got of the phone with (Young) and he told me I can't let him down," Doman said Sunday, minutes after the Niners took him with the 163rd pick in the draft. "He started talking offense with me already. He congratulated me and he was all fired up and he started telling me things I needed to get ready for this offense. He's been a good friend, so hopefully I don't ever let him down."

 Friends such as Steve Young are good to have, particularly if you're attempting to become the next 49ers quarterback. Young, a two-time NFL MVP and seven-time Pro Bowler with the Niners, set the standard for BYU quarterbacks who are attempting to make it in the NFL.

 The Niners obviously see plenty of potential in the athletic Doman running their West Coast Offense, which explains why the team used the fifth of its 10 draft picks on Doman, even though the Niners already have four veteran quarterbacks on their roster, including starter Jeff Garcia and backup Tim Rattay, a seventh-round draft choice in 2000.

 "He's a 25-year-old guy, and we think that's a plus," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said. "He's a little bit older and more mature. We like his athleticism. He moves around and plays the game, he improvises and creates and does that sort of thing. He fits our style of play."

 Which means Doman now is the new quarterback the Niners will attempt to groom for the future. For the present, they want him to win the No. 3 role, where the team obviously doesn't feel comfortable with either Gio Carmazzi – a 2000 third-round draft choice who hasn't panned out – or Aaron Garcia, a record-setting Arena League product who was signed as a free agent in February.

 If the Niners were set on going with one of them as the No. 3, they wouldn't have drafted Doman.

 "It's pure and simple. We brought Brandon in to compete for the No. 3 spot," Mariucci said. "We've got Gio, we've got Aaron, and that's where it is right now. It's not that we don't have a third QB. We do. We have a couple of candidates for that third spot. We just felt that if there's another one that has a chance to compete with those players, then we should use a draft pick."

 Nonsense. Those players are now competing with Doman for the No. 3 role, not the other way around. And if Doman develops quickly, even Rattay's job might not be safe.


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