These are the players I think the 49ers will select in the 2017 NFL draft, which starts today.
Round 1, pick No. 2: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M. The Browns have the first pick, and their owner, Jimmy Haslam, needs to sell the team. His company, Pilot Flying J, failed to pay rebates and defrauded many of its customers, including the U.S. Postal Service. Haslam may face indictment, law suits and criminal charges. To sell the Browns for as much money as possible, he needs a face-of-the-franchise quarterback. That’s why Haslam will insist the Browns select quarterback Mitchell Trubisky — an Ohio kid the team can market. And that’s why the best prospect in the draft — Myles Garrett — will fall to the 49ers.
Round 2, pick No. 34: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame. The Niners need a franchise quarterback, and Kizer has the traits to develop into one if he fixes his footwork.
Round 3, pick No. 66: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington. Many draft experts considered Jones a top-20 pick before he tore his Achilles tendon at his Pro Day. Jones should be ready to play by mid-September.
Round 4, pick No. 109. Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson. A pass-catching tight end who fits Kyle Shanahan’s physical profile at this position (think Jordan Reed or Austin Hooper).
Round 4, pick No. 143. Eric Wilson, LB, Cincinnati. A fast middle linebacker (4.48 40-yard dash at his Pro Day) who recorded 129 tackles last season.
Round 5, pick No. 146. T.J. Logan, RB/KR, North Carolina. A fast running back (4.37 40-yard dash at the Combine) who caught 29 passes last season and returned 21 kickoffs for 690 yards and two touchdowns.
Round 5, pick No. 161. Brian Allen, CB, Utah. A 6’3″ cornerback who used to play wide receiver — similar to Richard Sherman.
Round 6, pick No. 198. Rudy Ford, FS, Auburn. A three-year starter who ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
Round 6, pick No. 202. Isaiah McKenzie, WR/PR, Georgia. One of the best punt returners in the draft. McKenzie also fits Shanahan’s physical profile for a small wide receiver (think Taylor Gabriel).
Round 7, pick No. 219. Corey Levin, OG, Chattanooga. A small-school guard who fits Shanahan’s outside-zone-blocking scheme.