The San Francisco 49ers lost to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, and while they are not a lock to have the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, they are in a very good position at the moment. That means they will have a whole host of choices for that pick. They might not be able to grab pass rusher Myles Garrett, but they could potentially draft Jonathan Allen or a quarterback, or even deal back to get a haul of picks for the re-building process.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar put together his latest 2017 NFL mock draft, and he went with another option entirely. In his last mock, he had the 49ers drafting Clemson QB DeShaun Watson. This time, he considered a mock with no quarterbacks in the top ten, and had the 49ers selecting Alabama pass rusher Tim Williams. Here’s what he had to say about the pick:
Call this the Oakland Raiders method. In 2014 the Raiders drafted a pass rusher in the first round, and their quarterback in the second. The 49ers could do the same, targeting the ultra athletic Williams with the second overall pick.
The Raiders selected Khalil Mack in 2014. If the 49ers drafted somebody who turned into Khalil Mack, I think we all agree that would be a good thing. But will Williams come anywhere close to that level of performance? We have seen some statistical improvement from Williams during his career, raising his sack totals from 1.0 to 1.5 to 11.5 to 15.5 (with potentially two games left to play). Mack was an impact player from day one at Buffalo, and I don’t think Dan is saying Wiliams will become a Mack. Rather, it’s just the similar position.
NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote up Williams before the season started. He saw a guy who worked purely as a pass rusher, with little experience defending the run. He would need to work on defending the run and dropping in coverage if he made it to the NFL, but as a rookie, he would likely operate similar to Aldon Smith, working exclusively in passing situations.
The 49ers need a lot of help on both sides of the ball, so best player available makes a lot of sense. But would Jonathan Allen make more sense? It would be a third straight year drafting a defensive lineman, and the 49ers only have so many positions open on the line. At the same time, there is an argument to be made that Allen would be the best player available on the board. Maybe in that case the 49ers move down?