The San Francisco 49ers will be looking for edge rusher help in the 2017 NFL Draft, and unfortunately the best option will almost assuredly be going No. 1 overall. Myles Garrett is a guy who can do a lot of different things, and barring the Cleveland Browns Brownsing this up, they will be drafting him.
The 49ers have a lot of options at No. 2, and for the most part, mock drafts have suggested Solomon Thomas or Malik Hooker, with some random additional options. One option that showed up a while back but disappeared was Tennessee edge rusher Derek Barnett. In Pro Football Focus’ latest 2017 NFL mock draft, he’s back!
PFF is doing a mock draft week, and Gordon McGuiness decided to change things up. He has the 49ers drafting Barnett at No. 2. McGuiness pointed to his ridiculous numbers at Tennessee, where he broke Reggie White’s career sack record.
There are a number of ways the 49ers can go, but they need pass-rush help, and Barnett registered 34 sacks, 43 hits, and 110 hurries over the past three seasons—topping Myles Garrett in total QB pressures over their college careers.
The 49ers do need some competition for their LEO role, as well as the basic edge rusher in their nickel. Aaron Lynch has the role for now, with Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, and maybe even Arik Armstead both options to get some work there. But, with some intriguing options in the draft, that could get shaken up in a big way.
McGuiness had several interesting differences in his mock draft compared to a lot of what we have been seeing. He has Patrick Mahomes as the first quarterback off the board, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 4. He then has Deshaun Watson going No. 6 to the New York Jets, and Mitchell Trubisky going No. 7 to the Los Angeles Chargers. Certainly some aggressive QB decisions. He has DeShone Kizer slipping out of the first round.
McGuiness is not quite as high on the two-man safety class as others. He has Malik Hooker going No. 12 to the Cleveland Browns, and then Jamal Adams going No. 24 to the Oakland Raiders. Considering some have suggested they both could go in the top ten, that’s a bold decision.