The 17th pick is in and SB Nation's 49ers community, Niners Nation, has selected....
Michigan DE Brandon Graham
If the 49ers grabbed Graham, he would get a shot to compete for playing time right from the start. However, given the success of the 3-headed monster that was Lawson-Brooks-Haralson, it would likely take Graham some time to crack the lineup. Of course, the 49ers go with 4 down linemen on third down passing situations, and given the 49ers struggles finding someone opposite Justin Smith, he could crack the lineup in that way.
If a team thinks Graham can play linebacker, this is a great pickup. San Francisco has to keep adding pass rushers if it wants its 3-4 defense to succeed. Graham may not have a lot of upside, but he's productive and will be a great locker room presence.
From Rivalry, Esq.'s Graham player profile:
Despite being considered undersized (how somebody can be 263 and undersized is beyond me), BG is an all around terror. His strength and speed in the pass rush are exceptional, and his patience that he's developed in the run game consistently had teams running away from him this year. He's got a great bull rush, and he never stops going until the whistle. Whomever gets this guy is getting a gem of a player.
It's always a risky business moving a defensive end to outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense but the experts say Graham can do that. This is a solid pick that should help supplement a pass rush that actually wasn't too bad in 2009. As MTD says, passing up Dez Bryant is a tough choice but understandable.