2017 NFL Draft: San Francisco 49ers' top five needs, best fits on the clock at No. 2
This is one in a series that covers each team, offering viewers information for homework, suggestions and then the opportunity to make a draft pick.
When the NFL Draft begins selections in Philadelphia April 27, the
San Francisco 49ers
have the No. 2 pick in the first round.
Here is an in-depth look at the team’s needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com’s experts.
Who would you pick and why?
Top five needs
1. Quarterback: Is
the answer? At best, he would seem like a long-term backup for a star of the future. The question now is: Has Kyle Shanahan identified one atop this year’s draft, or might the 49ers explore other needs and put the future of the quarterback position on the back burner for another day?
2. Cornerback: With word out that the 49ers plan to move
, arguably their best cover corner, to safety, a shutdown corner (or two) moves way up the need charts. The club also cut ties with regular starter
recently due to off-field issues, making the position an even bigger priority.
3. Wide receiver: They’ve added a solid No. 2 (
), retained a proven No. 3 (
) and imported some speed for stretch-the-field alignments (
). But the 49ers could still use a game-breaker along the lines of Kyle Shanahan’s previous team — the
. If only such a guy were available atop the draft.
4. Inside linebacker: The 49ers have lost a ton of talent since the Jim Harbaugh glory days. Without question, the biggest loss was
to retirement. They haven’t come close to replacing him. It should be an easy position to recruit. You get the opportunity to play alongside
5. Safety: Sending
, one of the team’s most dependable defensive players, on his way created yet another position to be filled. Sliding Jimmie Ward over from cornerback might seem like a good idea, but securing a proven safety could be a better solution. After all, the 49ers might need Ward back at corner.
, DE, Texas A&M: When you get a chance to pick No. 2, you absolutely, positively have to come away with a game-changer. There is no such player out there this year at arguably the club’s top four areas of need: quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback and safety. So if Garrett, the consensus top talent in the draft, were to fall into their laps, they’d be crazy not to take him. Yes, the club used its top pick on a defensive end each of the last two seasons. Last year’s choice,
, might be as good as Garrett.
from 2015 definitely is not.
The pick will be …
. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was hired to help spark a listless offense that ranked 27th in the NFL in points scored and dead last in passing last season, but ignoring better players just to draft a quarterback may only guarantee another poor season in 2017. Thomas is a natural disruptor who has drawn comparisons to
Los Angeles Rams
. He could be the perfect finishing touch for a defensive line currently improving.
Dane Brugler: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford. Yes, there is the Stanford connection with general manager John Lynch, but more important, Thomas is an excellent football player who adds immediate pass-rush help on the defensive line.
Pat Kirwan: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford.
(Kirwan, Jim Miller picks based on last Friday’s mock on SiriusXM Radio. Listen to their next mock Friday, April 21, on SiriusXM NFL Radio channel 88).
Frank Cooney, IMO: Solomon Thomas, DE, from the school that best prepares linemen for the NFL, Stanford. Most difficult thing about this pick is convincing the Uber driver he must take Solomon south from Stanford to the San Francisco 49ers, who are really in Santa Clara.
Your chance to go on the record
OK, it’s your turn. Tell us in the comments section who you would pick and why. Check out the top 1,000 players rated by NFLDraftScout.com, including combine and pro day workouts, biographies, scouting reports.