Redrafting San Francisco’s 2017 NFL Draft class two years later

PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 27: (L-R) Solomon Thomas of Stanford poses with Commissioner of the National Football League Roger Goodell after being picked #3 overall by the San Francisco 49ers (from Bears) during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Niner Noise takes a look at the San Francisco 49ers’ 2017 NFL Draft class and redrafts it, taking a hindsight approach to what worked and what didn’t.

Revisionist history is always a funny thing, but one can be certain the San Francisco 49ers would have done a few things differently back in the 2017 NFL Draft, if they knew then what they know now.

The Niners’ 2017 draft class was significant for a number of reasons. For starters, it was the initial class for then-first-year general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan. San Francisco was ushering in a complete rebuild after going 2-14 the previous year, and that included the front office.

This gave Lynch and Co. the No. 2 overall pick — ironic, given the Niners ended up owning the second overall pick two years later in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Rewinding two years, though, we can recall what happened. Lynch traded down one spot with the Chicago Bears and landed Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas. It seemed like a no-brainer pick, followed by a trade up into the tail end of Round 1 to grab Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

At the time, this was seen as a steal. Two years later, though, Thomas has largely failed to deliver, and Foster is no longer with the team.

For your refresher, here’s the breakdown of San Francisco’s 2017 class:


So, what if Lynch and Co. could have a do-over?

Niner Noise takes a look back at what the 49ers might have done, had they enjoyed the benefit of two years’ knowledge into 2019.

And, yes. Things change with that first pick.

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