With the second pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers select…
2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitchell Trubisky, QB | North Carolina
It’s been a couple years since we’ve had so many questions at the top of the draft. The previous two drafts had quality quarterback classes which allowed Tampa Bay and Tennessee to grab franchise signal callers in both Jameis Winston & Marcus Mariota in 2015, 1-2 and again last year for Los Angeles and Philadelphia with Jared Goff & Carson Wentz. This year not so much. Despite what appears to be an average quarterback class, the positional value will almost certainly vault at least three possibly even four quarterbacks into the first round of this years draft. Prior to free agency the 49ers didn’t even have a quarterback under contract. John Lynch and company went out and quickly signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley who both showed flashes in Chicago last year but neither is a long term solution at the position. This could certainly serve as a band aid approach for the 2017-18 season, but a franchise signal caller is still needed. Mitchell Trubisky gives the Niners just that. Everyone is assuming the 49ers aren’t looking at quarterback but what if it’s all just a smokescreen. Oh man Cleveland would be pissed. The biggest knock on Trubisky is his experience, so rather than throw him into the lions den year one, he can sit behind Hoyer before taking over the reigns of new head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense in 2018.
Rumors are swirling that the Panthers may be looking to move up to pick number 2 in order to grab one of the top pass rushers. If the 49ers were smart they’d make the move and pick up some more picks in the process to help strengthen their roster. Let’s face it, the Niners roster has a lot of holes and they’ll most likely be picking high in next years draft as well. Everyone knows this is a rebuilding process (hence Lynch and Shanahan’s six year contracts), so it wouldn’t shock me if they took a Browns approach to compiling more draft picks. The 2018 quarterback draft class actually looks much stronger so it’s possible San Fran opts to go best player available this year and grabs its QB of the future next year. A popular name I’m seeing amongst other mock drafts is Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. The issue I have with Thomas is not so much his talent but his fit in the 49ers defensive scheme. The Niners have run a 3-4 defense since 2007 and spent their last two draft’s first round picks on Oregon’s mammoth defensive ends, Arik Armstead & Deforest Buckner. The hiring of new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh could possibly mean a switch to a 4-3 alignment, but both Armstead and Buckner are not ideal DE’s or even DT’s for that matter in such a scheme. Thomas is best suited as a defensive end in a 4-3 or 3-4 base so the question becomes, if they stay with the 3-4, can Thomas effectively rush the passer at OLB? Should be interesting to see what San Francisco ultimately decides to do with this pick come April 27th.