There are less than two weeks until the 2018 NFL Draft, which means teams around the league are tasked with preparing for nailing the seven-round affair. Here is Niner Noise’s blueprint for a perfect draft for the San Francisco 49ers.
With the 2018 NFL Draft upcoming, the San Francisco 49ers have a much more set roster than at this time last year. Just 365 days ago, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were a mere two months into both of their respective jobs.
The team was in the infancy of an anticipated long rebuild. San Francisco spent relatively very little in free agency, opting for cap space instead of aggressiveness in the pursuit of flashy names.
But then quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was acquired in an Oct. 30 trade with the New England Patriots. All the 49ers had to do was deal away its 2018 second-round pick. And just like that, San Francisco had its franchise quarterback. Of course, they didn’t know that at the time.
We all know what happened next — five consecutive wins to end the season highlighted by some stellar play from Garoppolo. That trade drastically changed the course of the rebuild for the 49ers.
This is a team that is now much more of capable of competing for a spot in the playoffs next season. Solid drafting from the new regime’s first class helps too.
Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, tight end George Kittle, wide receiver Trent Taylor and safety Adrian Colbert, all 2017 draft selections, each look set to be regular contributors in 2018 and beyond. Add in undrafted gems like running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, and San Francisco suddenly has some depth at its skill positions.
It was an open battle at a majority of the positions last year. That isn’t the case today.
This is a plan for the 49ers heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, complete with strategy, positional rankings and X-factors.