10 superstars 49ers could have drafted but unwisely didn’t

Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech Red Raiders
Patrick Mahomes II #5 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images) /

49ers 2017 draft re-do

Actual pick: Solomon Thomas, DT, Stanford – Rd 1, Pick 3

New pick: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech – Rd 1, Pick 10 (Kansas City)

The talk at the time was all about how new Niners general manager John Lynch had fleeced the Bears in grabbing a slew of picks (Nos. 67 and 111 in 2017 and a third-round pick in 2018) in order to draft the guy San Francisco wanted all along.

Now, think if Lynch had taken Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes instead of Stanford defensive tackle Solomon Thomas while still getting three picks back in return for the Bears jumping up one slot to snag North Carolina signal-caller Mitchell Trubisky.

The biggest draft steal of all time? More than likely.

As is, the deal was a decent one for the 49ers, although they did subsequently trade No. 67 (to New Orleans, who took running back Alvin Kamara) and No. 111 (to Seattle, who took safety Tedric Thompson), although the 2018 third-rounder did turn into All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner.

But it’s safe to say the Niners would probably rather have Mahomes right now, even as they prepare second-year quarterback Trey Lance for his first full season as a starter heading into 2022.

Mahomes still could have sat for a season or even part of it, like eventual 49ers’ pick C.J. Beathard did that year, since San Francisco lost all six games started by free-agent journeyman Brian Hoyer to begin the season.

Who knows if Mahomes would have become with the Niners what he is now with the Chiefs, but I’d certainly bet on Kyle Shanahan to be able to get the most out of him and for the quarterback’s talents to win out in the end.

The rest of that draft yielded San Francisco George Kittle, who makes up for all the misses elsewhere, and defensive tackle D.J. Jones. But adding Mahomes as a first-ever draft pick would have been a massive statement on the part of Lynch and Shanahan.

In hindsight, it would have been their best move.