McCloughan: 49ers drafted two top-5 players in 2017, makes comparisons

Twitter had an interesting new addition in former NFL talent evaluator Scot McCloughan, a man that had two turns as a General Manager, including once with the 49ers. (Note: If it’s not him—he has no checkmark yet—this person has done a good job convincing people with personal pictures, a website, and garnering follows all the way from PFT, to Tim Kawakami, to Michael Silver, to Matt Maiocco, to Adam Schefter. These are media people that would know—checking with a friend or source via text—before hitting the follow button, as they rarely do. CSN Mid-Atlantic also confirmed his account).

And since McCloughan has been on Twitter, he’s only Tweeted non-replies twice, but has been fielding questions from pro football followers that know about him and his track record in the league.

That’s opened windows to pick his brain about what he thought about moves from his former team(s). Now, the 49ers had a relatively strong draft in 2017, netting a pair of potential franchise players on defense in Stanford lineman Solomon Thomas and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, which makes for interesting conversation. As standalone players, each possesses complexion-changing upside.

Thankfully, McCloughan was willing to engage on the topic of his former team.

When asked if Foster is comparable to Patrick Willis—who was selected by the 49ers the year before McCloughan was promoted to GM—or Luke Kuechly, two of the top linebackers in recent memory, McCloughan replied, “Kind of.

“Willis could run and Kuechly is very instinctive,” he added. "[Foster's] not Patrick but he's really good."

The former exec also compared the No. 3 overall pick out of Stanford to a New England Patriots great, saying, “Thomas reminds me of Richard Seymour.”

And together, he believes Thomas and Foster were two of the top-5 players in the entire 2017 class.

McCloughan spent a good deal of his NFL career with the 49ers. He was the Vice President of Player Personnel from 2005-2007, before operating as the team’s General Manager from 2008-2009 (and slightly influencing a strong 2010 draft). Over that time, the Niners laid the foundation for a team that would make several deep playoff runs, including a Super Bowl berth in 2012 under Jim Harbaugh.

Following a short break after his departure from San Francisco, McCloughan joined rival Seattle as a Senior Personnel Executive and kick started the franchise by helping to identify several marquee players, including safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman and quarterback Russell Wilson. From 2011-2014, McCloughan was largely responsible for two of the most competitive teams in football.

In 2013, he signed on with the Washington organization for a second stint as a GM, and helped them fill out a roster that became more competitive than it had been in season’s past.

Media courtesy AP

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