The San Francisco 49ers will get, theoretically, one of the 10 best players in the 2018 NFL Draft. That’s what it means to have a top 10 pick, and that’s what it means for the 49ers, who will pick either No. 9 or No. 10 overall in the first round. It doesn’t matter what trades happen before then — if they are comfortable with that many players, at least, they’ll be able to get somebody they want.
With Jimmy Garoppolo signed to a contract extension, the 49ers don’t need a quarterback. That’s significant, because around 90 percent of the draft buzz, especially in the top 10, is centered around quarterbacks. At least two will surely go in the top five picks, and as many as four or five could conceivably go in the top 10. It’s just too valuable a position to let stagnate — teams have to make moves to improve that position now, not later.
Most believe that, at the very least, three will go in the top 10. That means seven non-quarterbacks, or what we can call “players the 49ers could conceivably draft.” Saquon Barkley. Brandon Chubb. Minkah Fitzpatrick, players like that. Those three are the big ones, and most mocks have them gone before the 49ers get around to picking. I tend to think one of them will still be around at No. 9.
But are there 10 players you’d be happy with? Are there 10 non-quarterbacks that you would feel good about the 49ers drafting with either the ninth or 10th overall pick? Or are there just a couple, and beyond that, you’d prefer John Lynch to orchestrate some kind of trade down?