The San Francisco 49ers ended the 2017 NFL Draft’s first round with defensive end Solomon Thomas and linebacker Reuben Foster. Both players have flashed their first-round ability, though the former has struggled and the latter has dealt with significant injury.
And since it’s never too early to second guess, how about we talk about a potential redraft? The folks over at Sports Illustrated took a look at the first round and took a swing at a redraft after we have some information about the players and how they’re performing.
Notably, the Cleveland Browns still take Myles Garrett first, but the 49ers go in an entirely different direction with their pick, landing Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Cornerback is a huge issue for the 49ers and the pick makes sense to me, though at this point I’d prefer Deshaun Watson and don’t see how he isn’t the first pick in any redraft, regardless of the talent he’d be working with at other teams.
Lattimore would likely be a perfect fit in Robert Saleh’s defense in San Francisco, and the team is hurting big time n the secondary. Lattimore has clearly shown a lot more than Thomas at this point. But let’s move on.
They have Watson going to the Chicago Bears at No. 3, as opposed to Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 in a traade with the 49ers. They have Thomas going to the New York Jets a couple picks later at No. 6 overall, reasoning that he’s the best defensive lineman on the board and they need the selection with Sheldon Richardson out.
Notably, Foster comes up at No. 11 to the New Orleans Saints, the actual team that drafted Lattimore. They note that Foster already looks like a top-flight linebacker despite missing most of the season with an injury. Foster would be a great pick for the Saints, I have to admit.
This also means that, in their redraft, the 49ers aren’t moving up. John Lynch said the 49ers had Foster as their top player on the board, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t need to trade back up if Foster is off the table. I’d personally love it if Lattimore had ended up on the 49ers instead of Thomas, but I think the defensive end has all the talent in the world so I’m not necessarily complaining.