The 2017 NFL draft is eight days away, and Mel Kiper has joined Todd McShay in putting together a three-round mock draft. And like McShay, Kiper has the San Francisco 49ers landing a slightly unexpected quarterback in the second round.
Last week, McShay’s three round mock draft had the 49ers drafting Solomon Thomas in the first round, and then landing DeShaun Watson in the second round. He followed with Iowa defensive back Desmond King in the third. He is low on the QB class, with no quarterbacks going in the first round, and Mitchell Trubisky off the board at No. 33 in the second round.
Kiper’s mock draft this week follows a very similar pattern. One difference is he is not projecting, but rather looking at value across the board based on what he sees as the best fit for each team. He has Trubisky going No. 12 to the Cleveland Browns, but otherwise the QBs aren’t going until round two. Here is his haul for the 49ers, followed by his thoughts on the picks.
1 (2): Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
2 (34): Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
3 (66): Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
I have Jonathan Allen rated higher than Thomas, but Thomas is a better fit in San Francisco. He has double-digit sack potential and is a different player than the D-linemen the 49ers have taken in the first round the past two years (DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead). Could he even play some outside linebacker in the Niners' 3-4? I moved Mahomes ahead of Clemson's Deshaun Watson in my quarterback rankings. He's one of my favorite players to watch in the class, and you can't deny his natural tools. Mahomes would give new coach Kyle Shanahan a developmental prospect with which to work. The 49ers brought in Brian Hoyer in free agency, and he could play while Mahomes gets used to the speed of the NFL. Wilson is a big corner (6-foot-1, 211 pounds) without ideal speed (4.54 40 at the combine), but he could compete for a starting spot in San Francisco. Getting Wilson at the top of Round 3 would be a steal.
I would be quite pleased with the 49ers landing Mahomes at No. 34. However, I see almost no chance of that happening. He might not go in the top half of the draft, but if he slips past the Houston Texans at No. 25, I would be fairly stunned. And on the off-chance that happens, it would not surprise me to see somebody climb into the back half of the first round to grab him. I just don’t see a draft that results in only one quarterback going in the first round.
I don’t know if his mention of Thomas being able to play some OLB in the 49ers 3-4 is a typo, or confusion, or something else entirely. The 49ers will be using a lot of different looks on defense, but they are moving to a 4-3 under type of defense, so I’m not entirely sure what he means with that.