Round 1, Pick No. 2
Twelve years ago, when the 49ers had a pick this high in the draft they were in the same boat as they are now. They were staring down the barrel of a rebuild, and they were searching for their quarterback of the future.
The difference between now and then is that they won’t be burning their high pick on a quarterback. After months of speculation that the pick could be Reuben Foster, a few other names have come into play. Solomon Thomas, Mike Williams and, more often than not, Malik Hooker.
While it’s true the 49ers need to bolster their pass rush, recent talks have been the possible selection of a free safety. Although the edge position still needs to be addressed, their newly changed 4-3 defensive scheme can not work without a true free safety.
With the strong safety position stepping into the box to play closer to the line of scrimmage, they need a specialist that can hold their own in the secondary.
By switching to the 4-3 defense, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will be running a defense that will mirror that of the Seattle Seahawks.
If you can’t beat them, join them right?
The man that makes that defense work due to his position is free safety Earl Thomas. This year many scouts are comparing Thomas to Hooker.
Defensive back is very deep position in this year’s draft. So it’s hard to say whether the front office will covet Hooker or an edge rusher more. Either way, both positions need to be addressed.
In less than a week, we’ll find out which position is more important for the 49ers.
Next: T.J. Watt