The 2016-17 college football bowl season gets underway this weekend, which brings the first notable postseason phase of the pre-draft process. Most teams likely have watched plenty of tape on players, but the bowl season provides some premium matchups to give us a chance to see notable players in big-time matchups. And so, it is fitting that Todd McShay released his first 2017 NFL mock draft today.
McShay’s top six picks are defensive players, and he does not have his first quarterback off the board until UNC’s Mitch Trubisky at No. 30 to the Kansas City Chiefs. The top of his draft starts with a bit of a surprise, with the Cleveland Browns selecting Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett is viewed by many as the likely top pick, but McShay goes a different direction up top.
Of course, it should surprise nobody that he then has Garrett going No. 2 to the San Francisco 49ers. He has this to say about the pick:
Considering the lack of elite QB/WR talent in this class, the 49ers would be thrilled to see Garrett fall to them at No. 2. Tied with LSU RB Leonard Fournette for my best grade in this class, Garrett is the most disruptive pass-rusher in college football, with 21 sacks and 20 QB hurries in 23 games the past two seasons.
If Garrett is there at No. 2, I would think the 49ers will race their card up to the front. Well, barring a godfather offer for the pick. Garrett would fill a huge need, adding to a pass rush that has some OK options, but nothing that brings regular fear to opposing offenses. It remains to be seen how Garrett will turn out as a pro, but he is a no-brainer pick.
The 49ers have needs at quarterback and wide receiver, among many other positions, but there is not a clear pick at those positions that would make sense at No. 2. If Garrett ends up going No. 1 as many expect, that is where the questions start getting raised about what the 49ers will do at No. 2.