Pro Football Focus came up with a fun exercise earlier this week, putting together a one-round “Foundation Draft.” PFF analysts were each assigned one of the 32 NFL teams, and the goal was to make the first pick for each team. There were no limits on who to pick, so someone could pick an aging veteran, a rookie, a college prospect, a high school prospect, or event their friend’s toddler.
The first pick of the draft was quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He is 33, so he’s no spring chicken anymore, but he seems to be in a position where he can play for five, six, maybe more years and maintain his production. You can make arguments for younger quarterbacks, but he’s not a bad pick at No. 1.
The No. 2 pick was Andrew Luck, and personally, I’d argue for him over Rodgers. He has had some struggles at times, but he’s a heck of a foundation piece. If the 49ers had the No. 2 pick in this draft and got Luck, I’d be over the moon.
It should surprise nobody that 17 quarterbacks went in the first round. Following Rodgers and Luck, quarterbacks went through the 15th pick. Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, and Dak Prescott went three through five. The most interesting decision might have been Patrick Mahomes at No. 13 before Matthew Stafford.
The potential 2018 draft class had three quarterbacks showing up, but one of which is not regularly mentioned with the other two. USC QB Sam Darnold went No. 15, and Wyoming’s Josh Allen went No. 27, but in between was Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph at No. 25. Normally Josh Rosen has been in the mix with Darnold and Allen.
It is not surprising that the San Francisco 49ers did not have a player show up in the first 32 picks. They are in the midst of a rebuilding process, and while they have some players who might show up next year, the potential still has a lot of questions. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner could be a guy who emerges as a franchise cornerstone type. This draft included interior tackle Aaron Donald and Houston Cougars prospect Ed Oliver.
Other than that, there’s just not a lot. Rashard Robinson is a guy we are hoping emerges as a No. 1 cornerback, but I’d like to see him complete a full season before making any particularly grand proclamations.
The rookies are always players to consider, and with first round picks spent on Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster, the 49ers are certainly hoping they get some long term stability at their positions. But in the meantime, who are players you could see emerging as foundation pieces?