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2017 NFL mock draft: Malik Hooker, DeShaun Watson top the options

We’ve got our second mock draft of the offseason, this time factoring in the 2017 NFL Combine.

The 2017 NFL Combine is officially in the rear-view mirror, and free agency is getting started later today. With that in mind, it’s time for our post-Combine, pre-free agency mock draft. Some signings have been agreed to in principle, but will not become official until 1 p.m. PT.

In the meantime, Greg and Alex have each put together a first round mock draft, and have provided a rundown of their 49ers selection.

Greg: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

With Texas A&M's Myles Garrett off the table (a "no-brainer" decision for the Cleveland Browns, although I am not confident they will make the "no-brainer" decision - that's why they're called the Factory of Sadness), there is a conundrum left for the 49ers with the second pick. I fully expect the 49ers to make every effort to trade down; but to appease the scenario for a selection with the second pick, sifting through the various prospects to find the right fit, I drafted Ohio State free safety Malik Hooker.

Malik Hooker is a phenomenal athlete. His range, ball skills, instincts, and field vision are outstanding. For such a raw player (started playing football his junior year of high school), he shows an incredible feel/awareness and spatial relations in the vast areas of the football field he effortlessly covers devouring ground with terrific burst, closing speed, change of direction skills, and excellent hip fluidity. A true centerfielder with elite play speed to fly all over the field, Hooker is a ballhawking playmaker with long arms (33 1/4"), a 77 3/4" wingspan, and huge 10 3/4" hands immediately becoming a home run threat with the ball in his hands (three touchdowns on interception returns in 2016 - technically four, but called back due to penalty). On top of the interceptions in 2016 (seven interceptions), during his redshirt season on the scout team, Hooker snatched 40 interceptions. FORTY. Yes, you read that right! 40!

Lastly, Hooker provides the incredible talent needed at the free safety position in order to make our new defensive scheme hum - a la Earl Thomas with the Seattle Seahawks. Areas for concern: recovering from hip and sports hernia surgery, and still raw with only one season as a collegiate starter; nevertheless, Hooker is a dynamic and feared playmaker with an Ed Reed-like skill set.

Alex: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson

I am going to double down on Deshaun Watson. This team needs a quarterback, and after Myles Garrett, Watson is the best player available in this draft. I may be speaking boldly here, but I’m going to stand by what I believe. Watson’s leadership, poise, and will-to-always-win at all costs mindset is truly what separates him from the rest of the quarterback class.

Watson clearly has the IT factor. He makes everyone around him better, and his confidence spreads to the rest of his teammates. As a passer, he can complete the short, intermediate, and deep throws, and throw with touch, especially looking down field for an open receiver. Watson moves well in the pocket, avoiding pass rushers, and extending the play. He is a fluid runner, who keep defenses honest and on their heels. His dual-threat ability to attack defenses with his arm and his legs is what makes defending Watson difficult to contain.

What he did against that Alabama defense in consecutive national championship games under the brightest lights was absolutely remarkable. While he was surrounded by a lot of talent, I believe it was Watson who elevated that talent to another level. That’s what champions do. They put their team on their back and go beyond the limit, no matter what it takes. I understand that it’s risky taking a QB this high. However, after watching and studying Watson game in and game out for the last three seasons I truly believe he is a difference maker that will succeed at the next level.

2017 NN mock draft (post-Combine)

Pick Team Greg Alex
Pick Team Greg Alex
1 Browns Myles Garrett, DE - Texas A&M Myles Garrett, DE - Texas A&M
2 49ers Malik Hooker, S - Ohio State Deshaun Watson, QB - Clemson
3 Bears Jonathan Allen, DT - Alabama Mitchell Trubiksy, QB - UNC
4 Jaguars Solomon Thomas, DE - Stanford Jonathan Allen, DT - Alabama
5 Titans (from LA) Jamal Adams, S - LSU Mike Williams, WR - Clemson
6 Jets Marshon Lattimore, CB - Ohio State Marshon Lattimore, CB - Ohio State
7 Chargers Garett Bolles, OT - Utah Malik Hooker, S - Ohio State
8 Panthers Leonard Fournette, RB - LSU Leonard Fournette, RB - LSU
9 Bengals Corey Davis, WR - Western Michigan Solomon Thomas, DE - Stanford
10 Bills Teez Tabor, CB - Florida Ryan Ramczyk, OT - Wisconsin
11 Saints Sidney Jones, CB - Washington Jamal Adams, S - LSU
12 Browns (from PHI) Mitchell Trubisky, QB - North Carolina Teez Tabor, CB - Florida
13 Cardinals Mike Williams, WR - Clemson Reuben Foster, ILB - Alabama
14 Eagles (from MIN) John Ross, WR - Washington Corey Davis, WR - Western Michigan
15 Colts Reuben Foster, LB - Alabama Derek Barnett, DE - Tennessee
16 Ravens Takkarist McKinley, OLB - UCLA John Ross, WR - Washington
17 Washington Malik McDowell, DT - Michigan State Taco Charlton, DE - Michigan
18 Titans O.J. Howard, TE - Alabama Marlon Humphrey, CB - Alabama
19 Buccaneers Dalvin Cook, RB - Florida State Malik McDowell, DT - Michigan State
20 Broncos Ryan Ramczyk, OT - Wisconsin O.J. Howard, TE - Alabama
21 Lions Derek Barnett, DE - Tennessee Takkarist McKinley, OLB - UCLA
22 Dolphins Haason Reddick, LB - Temple Charles Harris, DE - Missouri
23 Giants Deshaun Watson, QB - Clemson Dalvin Cook, RB - Florida State
24 Raiders Tre'Davious White, CB - LSU Zach Cunningham, LB - Vanderbilt
25 Texans Patrick Mahomes II, QB - Texas Tech Obi Melifonwu, S - Connecticut
26 Seahawks Cam Robinson, OT - Alabama Cam Robinson, OT - Alabama
27 Chiefs Zach Cunningham, LB - Vanderbilt Jabrill Peppers, S - Michigan
28 Cowboys Charles Harris, DE - Missouri Adoree' Jackson, CB - USC
29 Packers T.J. Watt, OLB - Wisconsin Tre'Davious White, CB - LSU
30 Steelers DeShone Kizer, QB - Notre Dame David Njoku, TE - Miami
31 Falcons Carl Lawson, DE - Auburn T.J. Watt, OLB - Wisconsin
32 Patriots Jabrill Peppers, S - Michigan Haason Reddick, LB - Temple