ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are converging in their 2017 NFL mock drafts when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers. McShay’s latest mock draft, a week ago, had the 49ers drafting Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. Mel Kiper released his latest 2017 NFL mock draft, and he has the 49ers also drafting Thomas.
As with McShay, Kiper moved away from the quarterback position due to the signings of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. He recognizes the QB need but said the urgency isn’t as high. He thinks a developmental prospect on day two could make some sense, but for the No. 2 pick, they need a difference maker who can get after the quarterback. He thinks Thomas is a different version of that kind of lineman than what the 49ers have drafted the last two seasons.
Here is his full comment on the 49ers pick:
After the 49ers signed veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency, I'm moving away from North Carolina signal-caller Mitch Trubisky here. The urgency for the 49ers to pick a QB isn't as high. They could target a developmental prospect in the second or third round (Patrick Mahomes, maybe?) and let him have a redshirt year in 2017. The reality is that San Francisco has many needs on both sides of the ball. Thomas (6-3, 273) is a different kind of player than the D-linemen the 49ers have taken in the first round the past two years (DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead); he'll get after the quarterback from Day 1.
The top five of Kiper’s mock draft included pass rusher Myles Garrett, Thomas, safety Jamal Adams, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, and cornerback Marshon Lattimore. His first offensive player off the board is tight end O.J. Howard at No. 6 to the New York Jets. That is followed by safety Malik Hooker, running back Leonard Fournette, outside linebacker Takkarist McKinley, and wide receiver Mike Williams to close out the top ten.
Kiper’s first QB off the board is Mitch Trubisky to the Cleveland Browns at No. 12. He follows that with DeShaun Watson to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 13, but has no other quarterbacks in the first round.
He suggested Patrick Mahomes as a possible option for the 49ers on day two, but will he last through the first round? Will we only see two quarterbacks go on day one? It’s possible, but given how teams want to find that next franchise option, I would be a bit surprised if there were only two QBs gone heading into day two of the draft. That being said, if the 49ers had an eye for one of the remaining QBs and could land him in the second round after getting an impact player on day one, that would certainly be an intriguing turn of events.