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Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. Evaluate 49ers 2017 NFL Draft Class

Posted Apr 30, 2017

Two of the most respected draft experts had glowing reviews for John Lynch in his first draft as the San Francisco 49ers GM.

John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan made it clear that they are thrilled with their haul in the 2017 NFL Draft. However, it’s always intriguing to see what the outside perception is as well.

Count ESPN draft gurus Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. as two analysts who were also very impressed by what the San Francisco 49ers accomplished over the weekend.

“I thought John Lynch killed it,” McShay said of the GM’s first draft. “He got two of the top five football players in this year’s draft.”

Let’s start with Solomon Thomas. Many experts slated the Stanford pass-rusher to the 49ers in their mock drafts at pick No. 2. So the fact that San Francisco landed Thomas wasn’t the surprise. What really impressed the draft community was how the 49ers moved back one spot to No. 3, added draft assets both in 2017 and 2018 and still got their guy.

“I think Solomon Thomas is a really good fit for that defensive scheme,” McShay said. “He’s a versatile player who can rush the passer from the inside and on the outside.”

Then McShay dove into the first round trade with the Chicago Bears. San Francisco added a third round pick and fourth round pick in 2017 as well as a third round pick in 2018, all for moving back just one spot in the draft order.

The deal paid immediate dividends. 

“Lynch was able to use part of what they got for moving down one spot to get Reuben Foster at pick No. 31,” McShay said. “I honestly think Foster is one of the top five football players in this draft.”

McShay also took note of the extra draft capital San Francisco acquired for next year. Lynch added a second-rounder from the New Orleans Saints and the aforementioned third-rounder from the Bears. In what will be a strong quarterback class in 2018, McShay said that the 49ers now have the assets to potentially move up in the first round.

McShay finished by commending San Francisco’s seventh round pick, Miami safety Adrian Colbert.

Kiper took over from there. His favorite of San Francisco’s 10 draft picks was Iowa tight end George Kittle.

“I really liked the George Kittle pick. He can be that H-back or move tight end. I thought he was a real good pick for them in the fifth round.”

The analysis and evaluation will continue over the course of the next week, but it’s a great sign that two of the most respected draft experts are already heaping praise onto San Francisco’s new regime.

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