49ers Had ‘A Really Good Meeting’ With Dual-Threat Passer: Report


Getty The 49ers on September 11, 2022 in Chicago.

Could the San Francisco 49ers take in a quarterback for a third consecutive NFL Draft period? The team has gone from top five pick Trey Lance in 2021, to “Mr. Irrelevant” in seventh rounder Brock Purdy last draft to needing QB depth.

Now Dorian Thompson-Robinson of UCLA has entered the picture.

Per Jordan Elliott of SB Nation, the Bruins dual-threat passer told him on Friday, March 3 at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine that he held a meeting with the 49ers — a session that took place during the week of the Shrine Bowl in which he tells Elliott was “a really good meeting.”

‘DTR’ Showed Up & Down Moments Playing for a Former 49ers Head Coach

There’s already this 49ers connection “DTR” has: His college football head coach in Westwood is former 49ers head coach Chip Kelly.

Thompson-Robinson, though, became one of his longest tenured quarterbacks and was one of Kelly’s first recruits in the Class of 2018 as the nation’s No. 2 overall dual-threat passer by 247Sports.

Thompson-Robinson, however, delivered up and down moments in Westwood in a career that ended with 10,710 passing yards, 1,826 rushing yards, a combined 116 touchdowns throwing and rushing but also saw 36 interceptions…and the Bruins being on the end of both pulling an upset or getting upset at home.

In his true freshman year, “DTR” only had two games of surpassing 200 aerial yards and ended up with seven touchdown passes and four picks — but two of those interceptions came against Group of 5 opponent Fresno State in the embarrassing 38-14 loss on September 15, 2018 at the Rose Bowl.

His 2019 campaign got off to a rough start: Throwing for 8-of-26 for 156 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the 24-14 loss to Cincinnati. Thompson-Robinson didn’t surpass the 300-yard mark until his 12th collegiate start — which saw him shred Washington State with an astonishing 507 yards in the air with five touchdowns in the basketball-like 67-63 win at Pullman. The QB also scored twice on runs and added 94 yards on the ground.

The following week, however, saw Thompson-Robinson’s numbers dip to 180 passing and 63 rushing in a 20-17 upset loss to Arizona. “DTR” didn’t deliver a 300-yard passing outing until the rivalry game against USC — 367 yards while adding 64 yards rushing and scored four combined touchdowns in the 52-35 loss to the Trojans. He then was held to an astonishing -34 rushing yards in the 28-18 loss to Cal at home in the season finale.

Again, “DTR” witnessed some upsets then was on the losing end of one — in 2021 when his Bruins routed LSU (threw three touchdowns that game on 260 yards) but lost in the final seconds to 2023 draft prospect Jake Haener and Fresno State the following game (also tossed three TDs on 278 yards throwing). Overall, “DTR” only posted five 300-yard passing games and played on Bruin teams that only made it to two bowl games when he was QB, which were in his final two seasons.

Breakdown: Evaluation of ‘DTR’s’ Fit With 49ers

If the 49ers do take in Thompson-Robinson, he gives them another running/throwing threat next to Lance. He could also deliver some shake against defenders in the red zone like versus Washington in 2022. It also helps “DTR” that he’d enter an offense reliant on zone read plays especially in the ground game, which fits his style of play.

But what can help S.F. is this strong tidbit from Lance Zierlein of nfl.com: Thompson-Robinson showed a recent history of improvement under Kelly. His combined touchdown numbers and total yards improved the last two seasons.

The five-year quarterback, though, comes off as more of a play extender and has shown lapses in his delivery which leads to interceptions. Furthermore, when Thompson-Robinson is not in a rhythm, he tends to stay in a funk for a lengthy time.

“DTR” isn’t expected to be a starter in ’23. He’s not considered a day one or early day two talent. He’d be more of a depth need for S.F. But he would add an additional dynamic for an offense already featuring mobility.

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