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2017 NFL mock draft: A slow transition from quarterback to defense

The 49ers signed Malcolm Smith, but otherwise focused on offense in free agency. It could mean the draft is where defense will be addressed.

When I first launched the 2017 version of the Niners Nation NFL mock draft database, quarterback was the name of the game at No. 2 for the San Francisco 49ers. Mitchell Trubisky has been the main option, but we’ve seen some of DeShaun Watson and DeShone Kizer.

However, in the past couple weeks, we have started to see a transition in our database. Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett remains the top pick in every mock draft. However, at No. 2, we are seeing a mix of defensive players. Alabama defensive tackle Jonathan Allen is listed four times, while Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas is listed three times. Additionally, he have Malik Hooker and Jamal Adams in the mix.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of Solomon Thomas in the 49ers defense. He seems suited for the end in the 4-3, and then inside in pass rush downs. But right now he would seem a likely Leo candidate in the base, even without seeming to have the pass rush look that is best suited there. Am I reading too much into it?

The other option of course is the back end with Jamal Adams or Malik Hooker. But either way, defense seems to be growing like a more significant possibility. And considering how much the 49ers invested in the offense over the defense in free agency, maybe they already decided the deep defensive draft would be where they will add depth on that side of the ball.