The San Francisco 49ers will have their pick of options when their No. 2 pick arrives in the 2017 NFL Draft. There are a lot of questions up and down the draft board, but the 49ers will at least only miss out on one player (albeit one potentially very good player).
ESPN’s Mel Kiper put together his latest big board, ranking the top 25 players in the 2017 NFL Draft. There are not a lot of surprises at the top. He ranked Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett No. 1, and rounded out the top five with Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster, and Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. The first quarterback on his board is North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky at No. 16.
The 49ers have a lot of decisions to make in a draft that is particularly impressive up top on the defensive side of the ball. Allen is likely to be there at No. 2, but the 49ers spent back-to-back first round picks on Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. They are switching things up in the front office and on the coaching staff, so they could decide one or both is not the future. My guess is both pieces fit into the future, but such drastic coaching and front office changes means there are no certainties.
The 49ers could elect to move down. The Cleveland Browns at No. 12 and the Tennessee Titans at No. 5 are the two best options given their excess of picks. But you never know who might surprise the NFL and come calling for a deal. If the 49ers were interested in Mike Williams (No. 9 on Kiper’s board), maybe they move down a few spots and still grab him.
Tennessee pass rusher Derek Barnett comes in at No. 21 on Kiper’s big board. A recent mock draft had him going to the 49ers at No. 2. Myles Garrett is viewed as the top pass rusher in the draft, but Barnett could work his way up the board these next few months. He wouldn’t be the only player to use the draft process to shoot up media projections.