The 2017 NFL Draft features a lot of questions about the quarterback class, and even the top options are seeing conflicting opinions. We have heard anonymous executives suggesting Clemson QB DeShaun Watson is not a first round quarterback, but we continue to regularly see mock drafts that have Watson and UNC QB Mitch Trubisky going in the top half of the first round.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper is back with his second 2017 NFL mock draft, and he is no different. He has the San Francisco 49ers selecting Trubisky at No. 2, and the Buffalo Bills selecting DeShaun Watson at No. 10. He does not have DeShone Kizer or Patrick Mahomes going in the first round. Kiper had this to say about the two QB picks:
Like the Browns, the 49ers could also use this pick to solve the quarterback question either via drafting a player or trading for one. Given the current state of the rebuild, I suspect they're more likely to draft a quarterback or move down for more picks. Trubisky is my top-rated QB and the likeliest of the current crop to land here. Also, don't be so sure that Kyle Shanahan doesn't want to work with a young QB. He worked with a young Kirk Cousins and did some good things with Brian Hoyer.
This is obviously based on the idea that Tyrod Taylor would be playing somewhere else. We'll be able to say that definitively, one way or the other, in March. If there's a big question here, it's whether Watson is any more ready to start in year one than a quarterback who's currently on the roster. I think the Bills will go a different direction if they're able to bring in a veteran QB in March.
Free agency and trades could very well shake all of this up considerably. We do not know the status of Tyrod Taylor, and the 49ers could end up in the mix for guys like Jimmy Garoppolo, Kirk Cousins, and others. And we don’t know how Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch view this year’s QB class. They might decide it is better to grab a Mike Williams or a strong defensive option in the first round, and wait on the quarterback position.
Here are some notable names in Kiper’s mock, and where they went: