The 2016 NFL Draft is less than 48 hours old, and that means it is time for draft analysts to troll us with 2017 NFL mock drafts. Every year, the Monday after the draft concludes features mock drafts for the next season. It is of little value for predictive purposes, but I actually think it holds some value in looking ahead. It serves as a good early watch list of talent for the next season, and we can consider what needs NFL teams might have a year from now.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar released his 2017 mock draft, and he has the San Francisco 49ers drafting Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya with the second pick of the draft. Dan set his draft order based on the latest Super Bowl 51 odds via the Westgate LV SuperBook. Here's what he had to say about Kaaya:
Kaaya has progressed in each of his first two seasons as a starter and could explode under the guidance of new Miami head coach Mark Richt.
We'll find out a year from now how accurate Dan was in projecting top 32 talent. However, it does raise plenty of discussion points about the 49ers quarterback position. The team drafted Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel on Saturday, using a sixth round pick. GM Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly each chimed in on Driskel, and what he brings to the table.
Trent Baalke: "Heck of an athlete. You look at the numbers, he's a young man that's over 6-4. He's 237 pounds. He ran sub-4.5. Just a tremendous athlete that's played at two high-caliber programs. There's a lot to work with there."
Chip Kelly: "I think we said earlier, we love his athletic ability. He's 237 lbs and ran a 4.47 at the combine. He's got a unique package that you can kind of work with. That's an exciting thing, but I wanted to get a feel for him. I had not talked to him, so just to see where he is and get a chance to talk to him. And we had some time. We weren't on the clock for a little bit. We told him that if we got to where we were getting to, I think it was pick 207, that if he was still there at that point and time that we were going to pick him. But I just wanted to get a feel for where he was, and what his thought process was, and had a good conversation with him. I was fortunate enough to make two phone calls to him today."
The 49ers like what he brings to the table, but as a sixth round pick, expectations are fairly low. He will likely be inactive most of the 2016 season, and that's even assuming he makes the roster. I hope that he does, but late day three picks are not guaranteed anything.
The current quarterback depth chart includes Driskel, Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, Thad Lewis, and Dylan Thompson. Barring what now would seem like an unexpected trade or release of Colin Kaepernick, he and Gabbert will be on the roster. The team signed Thad Lewis, who is a Chip Kelly favorite, but it comes down to Lewis, Driskel, and Thompson competing for one roster spot, and maybe one practice squad spot.