The 49ers looked like they landed their stud linebacker for the next decade in Reuben Foster, but now it's uncertain if he'll ever play for them again. He's been arrested twice in the span of a month, one of which was for allegedly dragging his injured girlfriend. He'll be suspended for six games at the very least, and he could face jail time. The 49ers may opt to cut him.
San Francisco may consider a linebacker here in the wake of Foster's troubles. If so, both Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds make sense. Compared to Anthony Barr by some, Edmunds is a very athletic linebacker with great instincts.
Pick change; previously Roquan Smith, LB
Rd. 2, Pk. 27
Marcel Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State
The 49ers will have Pierre Garcon back next year, but they need a second receiver to pair with him to give Jimmy Garoppolo more weapons to work with.
Pick change; previously Christian Kirk, WR
Rd. 3, Pk. 6
Jesse Bates, S, Wake Forest
Eric Reid is an impending free agent, so the 49ers may have to find a replacement early in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Pick change; previously Christian Campbell, CB
Rd. 3, Pk. 10
Kameron Kelly, CB, San Diego State
I could see the 49ers using two selections on cornerbacks in the first couple of days of the draft, given how bad their situation is concerning that position.
Rd. 4, Pk. 28
Tyquan Lewis, DE/3-4OLB, Ohio State
A team can never have too many edge rushers, especially when its first-round edge rusher struggled as a rookie.
Pick change; previously Austin Corbett, C
Rd. 5, Pk. 6
Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
The 49ers could lose Carlos Hyde this offseason to free agency. If they do, they'll be looking for another running back to pair with Matt Breida.
A general manager told me the 49ers are desperate to trade down, and I think they have a shot at doing it. If the 49ers stay here, I've heard that the top candidates are Solomon Thomas, Jamal Adams and Marshon Lattimore. While I know lot of teams that graded Thomas as a mid- to late first-rounder, there are enough teams that like him in the top 10 that he should go high.
WalterFootball.com was the first to report that Thomas intended to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. The junior enjoyed an excellent 2016 season as a big presence on the edge of the Stanford defense. On the year, he had 62 tackles with 15 for a loss, eight sacks and one forced fumble. Sources from seven NFL teams told me that they graded Thomas a mid- to late first-rounder. Two teams said they had Thomas in the top 10 of the 2017 NFL Draft, but there are enough teams in the top 10 that like him that he should go that high.
Thomas has good speed off the edge with strength and physicality. Teams feel that the 6-foot-2, 273-pounder fits best as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense. Many sources said that Thomas is a bit of a tweener and doesn't have a great fit in a 3-4 defense. He probably would play outside linebacker if drafted into a 3-4 scheme. Teams really like Thomas off the field as well.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Zach Cunningham, OLB/ILB, Vanderbilt
The 49ers could use a linebacker upgrade, and Cunningham is a good value in the second round.
In 2016, Cunningham totaled 125 tackles with 16.5 for a loss, three passes batted and one forced fumble. The 6-foot-3, 234-pounder is a quick, instinctive linebacker who is a reliable tackler. He is a versatile player with the skill set to be a three-down starter in the NFL. There has been buzz about Cunningham in scouting circles, and teams are giving him late first-round/early second-round grades.
In 2015, Cunningham totaled 103 tackles with 16.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes batted and four forced fumbles on the year. He was only a redshirt sophomore that season and has upside to develop.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
The 49ers could use more cornerback talent and have shown interest in Tabor.
Tabor totaled 33 tackles with four interceptions and six passes broken up in 2016. Because of getting in a fight with a teammate, Tabor was suspended for the 2016 opener, but he covered really well after that and was a ballhawk. As a sophomore, Tabor recorded 40 tackles, 14 passes broken up and four interceptions, two of them being pick-sixes. Tabor did hurt his draft stock with a suspension during his sophomore season as well. He had an excellent freshman season in 2014, totaling 31 tackles with an interception and eight passes broken up that year.
Some team sources say that Tabor's best role might be as a big nickel corner in the NFL. The 6-foot, 199-pounder is lacking long speed and can give up plays downfield. He is great underneath with very good instincts, feel and awareness. Sometimes though, he is too much of a gambler. Tabor succeeds when plays are in front of him, but gets in trouble with plays behind or over him. Multiple team sources like other first-round corner prospects more than Tabor, but Tabor still projects to Thursday night.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
The 49ers could take some running back depth with Carlos Hyde entering a contract year.
In 2016, Gallman averaged 5.1 yards per carry for 1,087 yards with 16 touchdowns. He tacked on 17 receptions for 113 yards as well. Gallman was the workhorse of the Clemson offense in 2015, averaging 5.4 yards per carry for 1,527 yards with 13 touchdowns. He also caught 21 passes for 213 yards with a score.
Gallman (6-0, 215) has impressive feet with the ability to be elusive in the open field. He also possesses tremendous lateral quickness to dodge tacklers and a burst to accelerate running North-South. Gallman is a quick runner who could stand to add some weight for the next level.
Gallman already has some power to him to pound the ball for some tough yards and finish off runs. It would be good to see him improve his knee bend and pad level. He is a taller back, and as a result, he can run a little upright at times. That could lead to issues with injuries and ball security.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
George Kittle, TE, Iowa
The 49ers could grab some tight end depth and have shown interest in Kittle.
Kittle (6-4, 247) used the combine to help his draft stock as he ran much faster than expected in the 40 and worked out well on the field. As a senior, he made 22 receptions for 314 yards with four touchdowns while playing in a rushing offense. Kittle had 20 catches for 290 yards and six scores as a junior.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
The 49ers grab another offensive lineman.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh
The 49ers grab a developmental quarterback.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Amba Etta-Tawo, WR, Syracuse
The 49ers will probably add a few receivers for competition.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Steven Taylor, OLB, Houston
The 49ers could use some outside linebacker for their switch to a 4-3 scheme.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Dalton Crossan, RB, New Hampshire
The 49ers get some backfield depth and hosted Crossan on a visit.
Now we clearly know why the 49ers never wanted play Jimmy Garoppolo and obviously knew they would win too many games landing them a pick outside of the top 5. In fact, if he played one more game he could have played them out of the top 10 picks. Now with the hardest thing solved on the roster with Jimmy they should now look to find him a proper supporting cast to continue moving forward. They seem pretty bright with John Lynch at the helm and should look to improve the offensive line with clearly the best blocker in the draft. Of course guards are not as highly regarded in this poor offensive line league we live in now, but Nelson is a rare blue chip guard who should be a top pick. He has good balance, technique, strength, and intelligence to be a key cog in front of Garoppolo to build around.
Last Mock Pick: Derwin James S Florida St
John Lynch traded for Jimmy Garoppolo, and the 49ers would not have paid the high price for him without believing he's their long-term starter. Now that quarterback is settled, here's a perfect running back for Kyle Shanahan's offense. <br> <br>
Barkley is a tough runner with an amazing burst. The 5-foot-11, 223-pounder has devastating first-step quickness to hit the hole and accelerate downfield. Along with great speed, Barkley has tremendous balance, vision, cutting ability, elusiveness and power. He also is a receiving threat who presents mismatch problems for a defense in the passing attack. Barkley is an elite running back prospect in the same mold of Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley, and better than Ezekiel Elliott. Unless Barkley has an injury or off-the-field issue, he's a lock to be a top-10 pick next April. <br> <br>
In 2017, Barkley is averaging 5.8 yards per carry for 1,057 yards with 14 touchdowns. He has 46 receptions for 590 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver. The sophomore averaged 5.5 yards per carry last year for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also made 28 catches for 402 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver. Barkley was very impressive as a freshman in 2015 when he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,076 yards with seven touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 161 yards and a score. Barkley was very impressive, running for 194 yards on 26 carries against an Ohio State defense loaded with NFL talent.
San Francisco 49ers
Offense Style: West Coast
Defense Style: 4-3.
2017 Draft Picks:
3 Solomon Thomas DT STANFORD
31 Reuben Foster ILB ALABAMA
66 Ahkello Witherspoon CB COLORADO
104 C.J. Beathard QB IOWA
121 Joe Williams RB UTAH
146 George Kittle TE IOWA
177 Trent Taylor WR LOUISIANA TECH
198 D.J. Jones DT OLE MISS
202 Pita Taumoepenu DE UTAH
229 Adrian Colbert CB MIAMI
Offense Rankings: Total 21 Pass 17 Run 22
Defense Rankings: Total 25 Pass 19 Run 29
Sacks Allowed Per Attempt: 21
Sacks per Attempt: 26
Areas of need: WR OT LB CB RB
San Francisco is able to just trade down one slot in order to gain additional compensation. Barkley would be very tempting but the 49ers have a lot of areas of need. In the end I think they go with Fitzpatrick because he would allow some flexibility in the defensive backfield.
<i> 2017 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/22): Deshaun Watson, QB </i>
The 49ers could use a No. 1 receiver for their offense and whoever ends up being their new quarterback to replace Blaine Gabbert. <br> <br>
Ridley (6-1, 188) had a tremendous freshman season for the Crimson Tide as their No. 1 receiver. As a replacement for Amari Cooper, Ridley was very effective with 89 receptions for 1,045 yards with seven touchdowns. He finished the 2015 season with impressive performances against Florida and Michigan State to help push Alabama to the National Championship. Ridley has size, speed and a ton of upside for the NFL.
John Lynch grabs San Francisco a franchise quarterback. Even though the 49ers are playing competitive football, they should be in position to land one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. <br> <br>
In 2017, the redshirt sophomore has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,389 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. A general manager, who has scouted Darnold in person this year, has told me that he likes the "it factor" that Darnold displays. That general manager thinks there's nothing wrong with Darnold's throwing motion or arm strength, and that Darnold has some similarities to Philip Rivers. Other scouts feel that Darnold is a good prospect with the ability to be a plus starter, but they don't think he's elite, and on tape, they say he is not better than Mitch Trubisky or Deshan Watson were before the 2017 NFL Draft. <br> <br>
This fall, Darnold has had issues with interceptions and decision-making. He also has admitted to having issues with confidence. If Darnold relaxes and ignores the pressure, he could go on a tear. <br> <br>
Darnold was very impressive as a redshirt freshman in 2016 and impressed evaluators even though he wasn't being graded yet. Along with a quality skill set, teams like his intangibles and moxie. Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The 6-4, 225-pounder led USC on a nine-game winning streak to end the season.