The San Francisco 49ers stunned the football world on Sunday when they decided on John Lynch as their next general manager. It is safe to say Kyle Shanahan likely has full control over the 53-man roster, but there will be plenty of people involved in the upcoming roster decisions. It will start with internal and external free agents, but the 2017 NFL Draft is where the 49ers rebuild will hopefully take a significant step forward.
The 49ers hold the No. 2 pick, and 2017 NFL mock drafts have focused on Mitch Trubisky with the pick. There are some others, but the UNC quarterback has been regularly featured. In light of the decision to hire Lynch and Shanahan, I don’t expect a lot of changes for now, but there is one this morning that raises some interesting questions.
SB Nation’s Dan Kadar put together his latest mock draft, and he shook things up for the 49ers. Following this past weekend’s Senior Bowl, he has the 49ers selecting Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer. He had this to say about the pick:
Frankly, it’s impossible to get a feel on what the 49ers will do with this pick. No one saw the hiring of John Lynch as general manager coming in San Francisco, and currently no one would see a pick of Kizer coming. Here’s what we do know: Lynch and incoming head coach Kyle Shanahan are getting six-year deals. You can also argue that Kizer has the most upside of the three top quarterbacks in the draft, but requires the most development. Since Lynch and Shanahan appear to have the time, why not swing for the fences?
The 49ers plans for the No. 2 pick remain a mystery, but the quarterback position would not be a surprise. A potential decision on Kirk Cousins will be something to consider as well, but barring a big splash in free agency, I could see a quarterback at No. 2.
I don’t know that any of the quarterbacks should be going second overall, but the importance of the position increases the likelihood of one of them going to the 49ers. But which one it is remains a mystery. Trubisky only has one year starting under his belt. There is some rawness to Kizer with two years as a starter, but plenty agree that he has tremendous upside.
The rookie wage scale means missing on the second pick is not as big a deal as in the past. However, given the current state of the 49ers, they have to get significant return from the second overall pick. Whether it be a player there or quality in picks they acquire in a trade, a miss on this pick would likely keep the franchise at the bottom of the NFL for some time.
The 49ers are investing in the long term in their general manager and head coach. How will they use the draft and free agency to build on this?