We’ve been updating our NN mock draft database this week, and it is not remotely surprising that linebackers are showing up more regularly. The San Francisco 49ers have not made a decision with regard to Reuben Foster, and given the severity of his charges, mock drafters assume he is gone or at least facing a sizable suspension. Thus, the change in picks.
The 49ers are playing things close to the vest with regard to their plans at No. 9. General manager John Lynch said the team is factoring that into their draft decisions. At the same, told NFL Network reporter Jim Trotter the team feels it has already begun to prepare for a potential Foster absence.
“[H]e’s in the middle of a legal process right now that is gonna play out. And I think you have to make some preparations. I think we’ve already done that too. We re-signed Brock Coyle, who’s a guy we are really excited about. Malcolm Smith, who we signed as a free agent, we were really excited about last year. Was on IR because of a torn pec. He’s back. We went and got Korey Toomer from the Chargers. And so we’ve made some moves there. Might we have to bolster that in the draft? That may be something, but I don’t feel like we feel like we have to come out of this draft with a linebacker. But you know, it could be an area that we do address.”
The 49ers have a lot of options that don’t necessarily revolve entirely around Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds with the No. 9 pick. They could wait until day two to snag an inside linebacker, or they could decide they can do some things with Toomer and Croyle competing for a role. More than almost any other position, how they approach linebacker will tell us a whole lot about their thought process at the position.