The 2016 NFL season still has a majority of five weeks remaining, which means the 2017 NFL Draft order has a ways to go before it is finalized. That being said, we know the San Francisco 49ers will be picking fairly high in every round. They are 1-10, and while technically they can finish the season 6-10, that is unlikely to happen.
That being said, how about a seven round mock draft to whet your whistle in the meantime? USA Today has a draft website called Draft Wire, and Luke Easterling put together a seven-round mock draft on Thursday. It does not include comp picks, which will not be finalized until March. But in the meantime, it is interesting to consider what people see in the 49ers strategy, and the needs they address.
Easterling’s draft has the 49ers holding eight picks. It does not include potential picks that were acquired for Andy Lee (7th) and Derek Carrier (5th), but none of that information seems to be fully formed for the time being. Whatever the case, here is what Luke has the 49ers adding with their eight existing picks.
1. Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
2. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
3. Charles Harris, edge rusher, Missouri
4. Keith Kelsey, ILB, Louisville
5. Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
6. Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
6 (from DEN). Tony Conner, S, Ole Miss
7. Isaac Rochell, DL, Notre Dame
Some people have paid closer attention to college football than others, and they will have decidedly pointed opinions about the specific players chosen. I imagine the Trubisky pick in particular will get people’s engines revved up.
But even if you do not know much about the college talent out there, you can look at these picks and consider the positions relative to the 49ers current needs. The roster has a lot of holes to fill, both in terms of starters and depth. The team needs a quarterback of the future, I think most of us can agree on that. The team needs wide receiver help, and spending an early pick would make a lot of sense.
On the defensive side of the ball, pass rusher and inside linebacker are two of the biggest needs. Eli Harold and Tank Carradine have not exactly panned out, and with Ahmad Brooks getting older and Aaron Lynch dealing with injuries and an earlier four-game suspension, there are numerous questions there. At ILB, the team had NaVorro Bowman and Ray-Ray Armstrong plugged in as starters, but both were lost to injury. Bowman had his second major injury, and who knows how he will look after this one. ILB is a huge need.
What do you think of this haul in an early seven-round mock? Things will change plenty, both in terms of draft position and available talent, but it is a nice starting point.