Coming off a 2–14 campaign, the 49ers have plenty of work to do going into the 2017 season. How will they use their picks in the NFL draft? We’re breaking down every selection below.
Here's the full list of picks the 49ers hold in the 2017 draft, which will be updated as each selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 3 (No. 3 overall—traded with Bears)
Solomon Thomas, Edge, Stanford: Rookie GMs aren’t supposed to pull off coups like the one John Lynch delivered in Round 1. In dealing the No. 2 pick to Chicago, Lynch added three extra picks (two this year, one next) plus still landed Thomas, a player linked to the 49ers for weeks. With the 49ers expected to shift to a 4-3 scheme, Thomas best fits as a three-tech, but he can work inside or out. His presence alongside DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead will allow San Francisco to be very flexible up front. The 49ers also have five more picks within the top 111 this year, thanks to the Bears’ generosity. GRADE: A
Round 1, Pick 31 (No. 31)
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: The Seahawks dropped back again, this time out of the first round in exchange for San Francisco’s picks at 34 and 111. And while the 49ers certainly could have rolled the dice on a quarterback here, adding Foster to earlier pick Solomon Thomas has the makings of an all-time steal. Take away Foster’s hospital incident in Indianapolis and his diluted-sample drug test, and he had a case to be the pick at No. 2 overall. He and NaVorro Bowman together—assuming Bowman stays on track in rehabbing his Achilles injury—could bring back memories of the Bowman-Patrick Willis tandem. GRADE: A
Round 3, Pick 2 (No. 66)
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado: Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster and now Witherspoon. That’s a potential impact playmaker at all three levels of the defense. Witherspoon can be an antidote against teams with big receivers, because of his height and ability to go up for the ball. Whether or not he can be more than that remains to be seen. GRADE: B–
Round 4, Pick 15 (No. 121) Joe Williams, RB, Utah
Round 5, Pick 2 (No. 146) George Kittle, TE, University of Iowa
Round 5, Pick 34 (No. 177) Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech
Round 6, Pick 14 (No. 198) D.J. Jones, DT, Mississippi
Round 6, Pick 18 (No. 202) Pita Taumoepenu, DL, Utah
Round 7, Pick 11 (No. 229) Adrian Colbert, DB, Miami