Would the 49ers draft a defensive lineman with their top pick for a third consecutive year?
It’s difficult at this point to find anyone projecting otherwise. A review of recent mock drafts predominantly shows Stanford’s Solomon Thomas following in the footsteps of DeForest Buckner (No. 7, 2016) and Arik Armstead (No. 17, 2015).
Other scenarios popping up with the 49ers’ No. 2 overall pick include a trade with Carolina, or picking LSU safety Jamal Adams. There’s also some buzz around drafting Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer in the first round, but not that high.
Posted March 22
Burke, noting that SI.com’s mock draft correctly predicted the Rams-Titans trade at No. 1 last year, weighs five potential trades that could shape the first round. He has the 49ers standing pat at No. 2 and taking Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas (“If the Jets don’t want this pick to take a quarterback, the odds are stacked against San Francisco being able to unload it.”)
But he foresees the 49ers making a deal with Green Bay to land Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer at No. 29. “GM John Lynch praised Kizer at the combine, and the likely cost to move up five spots would be worth it if Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are sold on the Notre Dame product.”
Updates range from March 13-28
Of the five analysts weighing in, three (Charley Casserly, Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks) have the 49ers taking Solomon Thomas at No. 2. One (Lance Zierlein) has them trading picks with Carolina, which takes Thomas at No. 2; the 49ers move down to No. 8 and take Alabama tight end O.J. Howard and also acquire a second-rounder from the Panthers. The fifth analyst (Chad Reuter) projects San Francisco to take LSU safety Jamal Adams.
Writes Casserly, “Pass rush is the 49ers’ biggest need. My question is whether Thomas can provide an outside rush.”
Posted March 27
Infante explains why Solomon Thomas is “simply too good to pass up” at No. 2, despite the 49ers recent history of drafting defensive linemen with their top pick: “Whether you rank Thomas as a defensive lineman or as an edge rusher, there’s no denying that he’s one of the best defenders in this class. His athleticism for his size is very impressive. He shows off great closing speed and has great acceleration off the snap. He also packs a powerful punch.”
Posted March 28
Kelly says it’ll be Solomon Thomas at No. 2, citing his versatility as an asset to the 49ers’ new defensive strategy: “As the 49ers make the switch to a Seahawks-esque 4–3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh (a former Pete Carroll assistant), adding a Michael Bennett type of versatile inside-outside pass rusher is a good start.”
Posted March 28
Adding fuel to the speculation of Solomon Thomas to 49ers at No. 2, Brugler notes the Stanford connection to new 49ers GM and former Cardinal safety John Lynch. But that’s only one piece of it, he says. “More important, Thomas is an excellent football player who adds immediate pass rush help on the defensive line.”