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2017 NFL mock draft: Going offense high in a defense-heavy draft?

The 2017 NFL Draft is viewed as a very strong defensive draft. The 49ers could address that quickly, or try and take advantage of the depth.

The 2017 NFL Draft is a little under six weeks away, and this year’s draft is top heavy on the defensive side of the ball. There are serious offensive talents like Leonard Fournette and O.J. Howard, and of course, quarterbacks will be in the mix. However, the top ten is likely to be loaded with defensive talent. There are serious defensive line options, the cornerback class is one of the deepest in years, and there are two safeties potentially worthy of a top five pick.

If you’re the San Francisco 49ers, how do you approach such a draft? SB Nation’s Dan Kadar is back with his latest 2017 NFL mock draft, and he has the San Francisco 49ers selecting Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. He offered up this analysis on the pick:

This is where the draft really starts. Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas has emerged as a popular pick for the 49ers, but I still contend that Hooker is the better choice. The Cover 3 defense begs for a player of Hooker’s quality and style. While getting a pass rusher is important too, Hooker can be the Earl Thomas of San Francisco’s defense.

If the 49ers like one of the two safeties, it makes sense to grab one at No. 2. There are other interesting safeties, but there is a clear distinction between the top two and the rest of the class.

However, if the 49ers do not want to go safety, do you jump on one of the top options on the defensive side, or do you wait and take advantage of the depth? Instead, the 49ers could spend that No. 2 pick on a wide receiver or one of the defensive positions not quite as deep, such as selecting linebacker Reuben Foster. All of this assumes the team does not trade down, which remains an option.

How do you approach a draft that is defense-heavy up top?