SANTA CLARA -- All three of the 49ers' quarterbacks are 25 years old, a tripod of NFL neophytes who might welcome in another young arm through this week's draft.

A hotshot rookie won't be coming to steal Colin Kaepernick's job after last season's Super Bowl run. But with 13 draft picks in hand, the 49ers might select a quarterback to compete with backups Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien.

It's a strategy Bill Walsh deployed amid the 49ers' first Super Bowl runs. Even with Joe Montana in place, the 49ers used late-round picks on Dan Hartwig (1980, ninth round), Joe Adams (1981, 12th), Bryan Clark (1982, ninth), Scott Barry (1985, sixth) and John Paye (1987, 10th).

"I would never sit here in front of the media and say I didn't agree with what Bill Walsh (practiced)," general manager Trent Baalke said last week. "They'd run me out of town."

Speaking of running, the 49ers seemingly would be looking for a mobile quarterback rather than a pocket passer. Their offense is not restricted to Kaepernick's read-option prowess, however, so any promising quarterback could be in play.

"We're not opposed to drafting any position, whether it's inside linebacker, defensive line, quarterback," Baalke said.

Any rookie will be an underdog to unseat McCoy or Tolzien for a roster spot. That rookie might merely be an extra arm for offseason workouts and training camp, or he might show enough promise to land on the practice squad.

McCoy is the 49ers' most experienced quarterback, having appeared in 24 games through three seasons with the Cleveland Browns before they traded him last month. Tolzien retained his role as the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback last season after battling veteran Josh Johnson in training camp.

West Virginia's Geno Smith is widely regarded as this draft's top quarterback, and the 49ers are unlikely suitors considering he might command a first-round selection. Here are a few other candidates:

  • E.J. Manuel, Florida State: The Senior Bowl MVP has size (6-foot-5, 237 pounds), speed (4.59-second, 40-yard dash) and an invitation to Thursday's first round in New York, so he might be out of the 49ers' price range.

  • Matt Scott, Arizona: This dual-threat started only 17 games at Arizona but threw two touchdowns in the final minute of the New Mexico Bowl, a 49-48 comeback win over Nevada.

  • Collin Klein, Kansas State: The Heisman Trophy finalist had 585 pass attempts and 517 carries the past two seasons.

  • Sean Renfree, Duke: Before Renfree threw 51 touchdown passes with 40 interceptions at Duke, Harbaugh tried recruiting him to Stanford.

  • Landry Jones, Oklahoma: He's long been on Harbaugh's radar, including as a Stanford recruit and later as a freshman quarterback in the Sooners' 2009 Sun Bowl win over the Cardinal.

    If none of those quarterbacks are selected by the 49ers, there's always the undrafted market, where two familiar surnames might be available: Vanderbilt's Jordan Rodgers (younger brother of Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers) and West Virginia Wesleyan's Nate Montana (Joe's oldest son).