Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

2017 NFL Draft: 49ers Day 1 Recap and What’s to Come

Apr 28, 2017 at 10:20 AM--

Thursday night was busy for the San Francisco 49ers, who were involved in two first-round trades and selected two players in the 2017 NFL Draft. Below is a recap of what went down for the 49ers during Day 1 of the draft.

The Haul

Round 1, Pick 3: Stanford DE Solomon Thomas
Thomas saw his stock rise in 2016 when he had 61 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and was First-Team All PAC-12. That stock rose further following the Sun Bowl against North Carolina and his showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash.

Round 1, Pick 31: Alabama LB Reuben Foster
As a senior at Alabama in 2016, Foster finished with 115 tackles, 13 for losses, and five sacks. He was awarded the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation's best linebacker. The 6-foot, 229-pound Foster had 211 tackles, 23 of which were for a loss, seven sacks, and nine passes defended in three years with Alabama.

49ers make the call to draft Solomon Thomas

While meeting with local media, 49ers general manager John Lynch revealed that Thomas and Foster were two of the top three players on the team's draft board. The other was Texas A&M edge defender Myles Garrett, who was at their top spot and was selected by the Cleveland Browns number one overall.

The Downside

For Thomas, the biggest worry from some analysts has been his fit on the 49ers defense. While the bulk of his playing time at Stanford was in the interior, his ability to play on the edge, where he would be most valuable to the 49ers, is unknown. It is more likely that Thomas will play on the opposite side of the "Leo" spot, which is typically reserved for the team's best pass rusher, or inside at defensive tackle – or both.

For Foster, the big question mark is his recovery from surgery following the 2016 collegiate season to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. It was an injury that prevented the linebacker from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine. However, he is confident that he is fully healed.

"It's 90-percent," Foster said during a conference call with the media following his selection. "I'll be ready for training camp."

What They Said

John Lynch on Solomon Thomas

"He's a disruptive player. Last week, on Saturday, we all sat in our draft room – myself, (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan), (VP of player personnel) Adam Peters, and (Senior Personnel Executive) Martin Mayhew. We really challenged ourselves to come up with our vision statement basically for this draft and as we went through that, Solomon checked every box, both in talent and the spirit that he embodies, the character on and off the field. The kid's a great football player too and he plays with a tremendous amount of passion. He's got tremendous versatility. We just couldn't be happier."

Kyle Shanahan on Reuben Foster

"The thing about Reuben is we know he's made some mistakes but – you guys will see when he gets down here – he's a very good person. We really believe in him. We flew him down here (and) spent a lot of time with him. Probably talked to him on the phone or Facetime I'd say about eight of the last 12 days. So we developed a relationship with him pretty good and he's a very honest person. He's explained to us everything. We're very happy to have him."

Kyle Shanahan on Reuben Foster's injury

"I'd be surprised if he can't help us this year. When you know a guy's not going to be hurt long-term, you know you're going to get him quickly, you don't want that stuff to affect your decision. As a coach, I want him to be ready the first day he gets here but I'm pretty confident he'll be ready and play for us this season. If something did happen to happen, like you mentioned – our doctors felt that it wouldn't – but if it did, that stuff still gets taken care of. It's not like it's going to be career threatening and it's going to change who we have. I feel very confident about that stuff."

Solomon Thomas on where he might line up

"You know, I talked about that with the defensive line coach at the combine. Kind of lining up in the end position and stuff so I can move down to that three tech, and be able to rush with DeForest or Arik in there. So, you know that's really what we talked about and I'm excited to figure out and learn more about the system."

Reuben Foster on the impression he got from the 49ers organization

"Man, greatness. Greatness, man. I'm trying to be the great – the next Patrick Willis, the next great linebacker in their history."

Trade One

Bears get:
49ers 2017 1st round pick (2)

49ers get:
Bears 2017 1st round pick (3)
Bears 2017 3rd round pick (67)
Bears 2017 4th round pick (111)
Bears 2018 3rd round pick

Trade Two

49ers get:
Seahawks 2017 1st round pick (31)

Seahawks get:
49ers 2017 2nd round pick (34)
49ers 2017 4th round pick (111)

Grading the First Round

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay were very complimentary about John Lynch's and Kyle Shanahan's first day of their initial draft. Other than the actual selections of Thomas and Foster, they were impressed with the trades themselves and the 49ers' ability to acquire more picks.

"The Niners are the early favorite to earn an 'A' in my post-draft grades, making two trades and getting two prospects I ranked in my top eight," Kiper wrote.

"In the first draft of the John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan era, San Francisco got the best value of any team," Kiper continued. "And with needs across the roster, that's a good first step."

"Thomas and Foster are two of the eight best players in this draft, so this is quite a haul for the 49ers," McShay wrote.

McShay went on to call the 49ers' trade with the Bears "flat-out highway robbery."

What Is Next?

Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 28 at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET)
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 29 at 9 a.m. PT (12 p.m. ET)

NFL teams will have seven minutes to make their selections during round two. They had 10 minutes during round one. Teams will have five minutes to make their picks during rounds three through six and four minutes during round seven and for any compensatory pick.

The Picks

The 49ers currently have nine selections remaining in the 2017 NFL Draft following their two in the first round. Of course, that could change on Friday depending on whether or not the 49ers decide to stay put. It will be interesting to see if the 49ers try to get back into the second round.

Round Pick Overall Selection/Notes
1 3 3 Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
1 31 31 Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
3 2 66
3 3 67 From Chicago
4 2 109
4 37 143 Compensatory Pick
5 2 146
5 17 161 From Washington
6 14 198 From Baltimore
6 18 202 From Denver
7 1 219 From Cleveland

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