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2017 NFL mock draft: 3 rounds net QB, LB, WR

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The San Francisco 49ers could address three significant needs with this mock draft.

The San Francisco 49ers face numerous issues up and down the roster, and the 2017 NFL Draft is as important for them as any franchise in the league. With 11 picks in the draft, including the No. 2 pick in each round, they have to hit some doubles, triples, and home runs with regularity come late April.

Last week, Sports Illustrated columnist Chris Burke put together his latest 2017 NFL mock draft, and I have been meaning to share it. He runs three rounds with it, and hits on two critical positions, and one that could need help long-term. In his mock draft, Burke has the 49ers selecting quarterback DeShaun Watson, Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson, and Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Burke offered some analysis on the first two picks:

Watson: “Sorting out the 2017 QB pecking order remains almost impossible, and there are no trends to read in San Francisco with a rookie head coach, Kyle Shanahan, and rookie GM, John Lynch. Watson throws too many picks (17 this year) ... but so did Shanahan’s most recent quarterback, Matt Ryan, who fired 19 INTs before Atlanta took him at No. 3 in 2008.”

Anderson: “Anderson showed via his coverage missteps at the Senior Bowl that he needs to be up on the line. He’s a force there, against the run and pass.”

Kupp was a darling of Senior Bowl watchers, putting up a great week and getting himself even further on the radar. The 49ers have desperate needs at QB and WR, so these would certainly be a pair of intriguing picks.

As for Anderson? One scout thinks the 6’2 258 pound linebacker is best suited as a 4-3 SAM linebacker, who could also do some rush work as a 3-4 OLB. The 49ers are expected to switch to a modified 4-3 under expected new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. They will be moving players all over the place, so a pick like this (even if not this pick in particular) could make some sense.