We are officially through Week 15, and the San Francisco 49ers’ win improved them to 4-10. With two weeks remaining, that gives them the fifth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
There are two versions of the current draft order floating out there. One has the 49ers picking fourth, and one has them picking fifth. The difference between the two is strength of schedule. For those listing the 49ers as fourth, the SOS does not include Week 16 and 17 opponents since those games have not yet been played. For those (like me) listing the 49ers as fifth, the SOS is including those two weeks opponents. The reason I choose to include them is because the 49ers will play the games, and so those matchups will alter SOS.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, and dropped to 4-10. They join the 49ers, Houston Texans, and Chicago Bears at that mark. With my SOS, the order is Texans (held by the Browns) at No. 4, 49ers at No. 5, Bears at No. 6, and Bucs at No. 6.
With the new draft order, Bleacher Report columnist Ryan McCrystal put together a top 12 mock draft to get us moving into Week 16. He has the 49ers selecting Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams.
Here's an updated top-12 mock draft with the current draft order pic.twitter.com/JEUAJrd2Hu— Ryan McCrystal (@Ryan_McCrystal) December 19, 2017
I have not paid close attention to Williams, but McCrystal sees him as a guy who could play guard before transitioning to tackle.
“I think Williams would be an elite guard. His lowed body strength is his best asset - great in run blocking, anchoring vs bull rush. I'd bet guard would be an easy transition for him.”
Left tackle Joe Staley still has time left in his career, but he’s getting near the end. Right tackle Trent Brown will look to bounce back from his shoulder injury this year, but the team has a contract decision to make as Brown enters his final season. They could move Williams in at guard in 2018, and then out to tackle in 2019 if Brown and/or Staley are no longer around. The 49ers need a lot of help on their line, so I can see the argument.