Mock Draft: 49ers select CB with second overall pick

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Mock Draft: 49ers select CB with second overall pick

The experts at Rotoworld.com have put out their third mock draft...

1. Cleveland Browns - EDGE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M - Likely viewed as the draft’s top prospect. Reportedly dealt with a high ankle injury this season. NFL teams have to rush the passer, and drafting players like Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib don’t prevent you from adding Garrett. Expect Garrett to be one of the top EDGE athletes when he finishes the agility drills.

2. San Francisco 49ers - CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State - In full disclosure, I am terrible at projecting where corners are drafted. We saw Eli Apple and Artie Burns selected early, which was a total surprise for me. Obviously the second pick could be a major trade target if a team wants to pick a quarterback, especially with Robert Klemko not expecting the 49ers to select one in the first.

3. Chicago Bears - EDGE/DL Solomon Thomas, Stanford - Thomas is a really, really, really good football player. He can rush from the edge or possibly work inside. The Bears’ older pass rushers are nearing the end of their contracts, or at least the guarantees. I would not be shocked to see a tackle, although many would scream against the value. Piling resources into the offensive line for a new quarterback can work.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Leonard Fournette, LSU - The Jaguars took care of so many needs in free agency. Perhaps they want to add a rangy free safety, or another offensive lineman, or a tight end, but signs and actions point to a powerful running back who can help build the identity of the offense.

5. Tennessee Titans (via LAR) - FS Malik Hooker, Ohio State - Some might render football down to turnovers and big plays. Hooker can create big plays and turnovers thanks to his extreme range from his safety spot. I know the Titans have added safeties in recent offseasons, but Hooker projects as a different breed.

6. New York Jets - LB Reuben Foster, Alabama - Yes, back to back linebackers in the first round for the Jets. But this allows the Jets to have both types of backers as Foster is an aggressive missile. The Jets have done nothing in free agency. I would listen to an argument saying the roster is worse than last season.

7. Los Angeles Chargers - EDGE Takk McKinley, UCLA - The second edge rusher off the board will be interesting. I could see a debate between five or six names. Melvin Ingram is on a franchise tag, and the team might want to hedge at the position in case a long-term contract can’t be reached.

8. Carolina Panthers - WR Corey Davis, WMU - Do I think the Panthers make this pick? Not really. Should they? Yes. The receiver room plateaued last season and then took a step back in free agency with the loss of Ted Ginn. Corey Davis has the skills for defenses to gameplan for. As of now, the same cannot be said for Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess.

9. Cincinnati Bengals - WR John Ross, Washington - Ross is a really fun player, and would offer a much-needed element to the Bengals offense that went down the drain without two playmakers for much of the 2016 season. Andy Dalton is the type of quarterback that needs talent placed around him in order for the Bengals to make a playoff run.

10. Buffalo Bills - RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee - Surprise. The NFL likes Kamara more than those of us on the outside. The running game will be critical for the Bills success, as it was last season. I love LeSean McCoy. Love. But some have suggested he is an awkward fit in the new running scheme.

11. New Orleans Saints - QB Mitchell Trubisky, UNC - If you think previous years included conflicting quarterback opinions, just wait on this year. Trubisky was a starter for one season. It is vital to evaluate his play when pressured and forced outside of structure, since so much of UNC’s offense is about rhythm. A passer could certainly be off the board earlier, but the Saints need to plan for a post-Brees world. Finding a quarterback successor in the early rounds might be a new trend.
 
12. Cleveland Browns (via PHI) - QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson - I doubt the Browns can wait at No. 12 and get their quarterback of choice, so maybe a move up is possible. Watson has the sample size the Browns’ analytics group will like, but the question is if he is Hue’s preferred passer. I love how the Browns invested in the offensive line.

13.  Arizona Cardinals - S Jamal Adams, LSU - The Cardinals used multiple safeties who left in free agency (D.J. Swearinger and Tony Jefferson. Adams obviously fits the LSU theme and the aggressive mentality the Cardinals seem to love.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (via MIN) - CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State - If Sidney Jones was healthy, I would have projected him here. Conley is a name drawing more buzz as the process goes along.

15. Indianapolis Colts - CB Kevin King, Washington - I don’t think the edge rushing group is as great as we made it out to be. New GM Chris Ballard comes from the Chiefs, and many of the Chiefs selections seemed to have an athletic spin to it. T.J. Watt is possible, but corner seems to be a position with less depth on the roster. King is the most athletic player in the entire class.

16. Baltimore Ravens - EDGE Derek Barnett, Tennessee - Ozzie Newsome builds from the inside out. The Ravens edge rushers under contract are old or they are not dynamic.

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49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers 'ecstatic' with first-day haul in the 2017 NFL Draft

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers began Thursday with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

When his first day as 49ers general manager reached its conclusion, John Lynch had selected two of the three top players on his draft board and picked up additional third-round picks for this year and next year.

After Myles Garrett, the 49ers’ top-rated prospect, was the Cleveland Browns’ selection at No. 1 overall, the 49ers traded back one spot with the Chicago Bears. The 49ers still got their No. 2-rated prospect, Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

The 49ers started making calls to teams with selections in the teens, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, to inquire about trading up for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. The 49ers finally worked a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to move up three spots to No. 31.

All they gave up was a fourth-round pick acquired from the Bears earlier in the day.

“In terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” Lynch said. “We’re thrilled. We’re ecstatic. I think these guys have traits that encompass what we want to be about as a football organization.”

Lynch said he began speaking with Bears general manager Ryan Pace more than a week ago. Because the 49ers had picks scheduled next to the Bears in every round, Pace suggested to Lynch that the two teams should be willing to work with each other throughout the draft.

The 49ers had other offers for the No. 2 pick, Lynch said. A source told NBC Sports Bay Area just prior to the start of the draft that the 49ers had fielded three solid offers.

The team’s chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe worked out the details to finalize the trade with the Bears.

The 49ers did not know which player the Bears were targeting at No. 2, but Shanahan voiced his opinion while the trade was going down.

“This guy is a pretty bright,” Lynch said of Shanahan. “He said, ‘That’s not for a defensive lineman. That’s for a quarterback.’ And he was right.”

The Bears made the trade to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. In order for the Bears to trade up one spot, they delivered the 49ers a third-round pick (No. 67), a fourth-round pick (No. 111) and a third-round pick next year.

Jacksonville executive Tom Coughlin, whose team held the No. 4 pick, watched and admired the 49ers' move from afar. 

"To get what you had in mind right off the bat and pick up those extra picks? Pretty nice deal," Coughlin told Jacksonville reporters. "I’ve never seen one of those. . . Oh, my gosh. Nothing like that has ever come my way.”

When asked if the 49ers would have selected Foster if the Bears selected Thomas, Lynch said, “Perhaps. It was very likely.”

Instead, the 49ers waited and waited and waited before finding a trade partner in an unlikely place. The 49ers made a deal with Seattle, giving up the 111th pick obtained from Chicago, to select Foster. The Saints had already told Foster he would be the pick one spot later.

“He’s my kind of player,” Lynch said of Foster. “He plays sideline to sideline, and he’ll hit anything that moves. I think that’s contagious for teammates.”

Foster is recovering from shoulder surgery and his stock was negatively affected by character concerns. He was sent home from the NFL scouting combine after an argument with a hospital worker during his medical check. He also had a positive drug test due to a diluted urine sample.

Lynch spent a lot of time with Foster during his visit to Santa Clara, as well as a meeting him at the combine. Both Lynch and Shanahan spoke regularly with Foster on the phone and on FaceTime in the past few weeks.

The 49ers also dispatched vice president of football affairs Keena Turner and team chaplain Earl Smith to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to meet with Foster for two days. The team will have a plan in place to help guide Foster as he transitions to professional football, Lynch said.

“I would tell you that his character is what drew us to him,” Lynch said. “When you start talking football with this young man, he lights up a room. He’s a good kid. I believe in the kid. I think he’ll be a great player for this organization for a long time.”

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

What we really learned from day one of the 2017 NFL Draft

So after one day of the NFL Draft, we know the following:
 
1.        Roger Goodell could be booed on the surface of the sun, and if you don’t think so, let’s all agree to give that thesis a try.
 
2.        The Oakland Raiders have invested a lot in Gareon Conley’s word.
 
3.        John Lynch is either a swindler, or he was presented with a deal that only an idiot could refuse.
 
Let’s do Goodell first. He was booed lustily and often by the huge Philadelphia crowd, and though he would be booed anywhere (and he half-heartedly asked for more with a smile that looked more like a dog sticking his head out of a speeding car window), Philadelphia booing causes osteoporosis.
 
Next, we go to the Raiders, who used the 24th pick in the draft to take Conley, the secondary man from Ohio State who is being investigated for rape. Conley has maintained his innocence, putting out a statement denying all the accusations, and TMZ claims to have a video that calls into question the woman’s story. In other words, nobody can be sure of anything quite yet.
 
Except the Raiders seemed sure enough to take him, and general manager Reggie McKenzie said the team investigated him and the incident thoroughly. In short, given Mark Davis’ stated opposition to employing players involved in violence against women, McKenzie better be right, and close enough to right to assuage any misgivings Davis or the customer base might have.
 
As far as Conley the player, check back with us in at least two years.
 
Finally, there is Lynch, who squeezed (or was amazingly offered) three picks from Chicago Bears’ general manager Ryan Pace in exchange for one place in the draft. Pace, who was immediately described by Wikipedia as “the soon-to-be former general manager,” took North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, whom the 49ers had little interest in.
 
In other words, Lynch either pulled a fast one, or had a fast one handed to him. Either way, the 49ers got Solomon Thomas, the defensive lineman from Stanford they had long coveted, plus a third-round pick tomorrow, one next year and one in the fourth round that they helped spin into Reuben Foster, the Alabama linebacker who fell from much loftier draft positions apparently because of shoulder concerns.
 
In short, McKenzie got a much-needed secondary man who might end up being more trouble legally than he is worth athletically (though the level of doubt here is sufficient to jump to no conclusions quite yet), and Lynch won a reputation as the young Billy The Kid, smiling precociously while he robs you at gunpoint.
 
Time will tell whether he also gets to be called a great talent evaluator, but for the moment, don’t ask him to hold your wallet. That, kids, is the highest compliment a general manager can receive on the first night of his first NFL Draft.