4 Notes from John Lynch at the 2019 NFL League Meetings

PHOENIX -- John Lynch held court for about 25 minutes on Monday from the NFL's annual league meetings. The San Francisco 49ers general manager discussed his expectations for the team's defensive line as well as a few of the prospect visits set to take place in April.

But that's not all Lynch covered. Here's the rest of what you need to know from Lynch's media session.

1. McKinnon is in the Cards

There's been plenty of speculation about Jerick McKinnon's standing with the 49ers in the wake of the Tevin Coleman signing. Lynch reiterated that McKinnon isn't going anywhere.

"Oh yeah. Jerick is going to be a part of us," Lynch said. "We're excited to see that through. Jerick is working incredibly hard. It was an unfortunate blow that's happened to him."

McKinnon signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 2018 and was expected to be the team's featured back. Those plans went out the window when McKinnon tore his ACL on the first practice of the regular season. McKinnon has remained at the 49ers facility all offseason, diligently continuing his rehab. Lynch fully expects the running back to make a full recovery and be a difference maker in 2019.

"He's very much a part of our plans," Lynch said.

2. Kwon's Rehab

Kwon Alexander will return to the Bay Area on Tuesday to continue his rehab under the 49ers care. The linebacker is currently working his way back from a torn ACL suffered back in October. Lynch seemed confident that Alexander is right on track in his rehab but added that having him in house will give the team a better understanding of his timetable.

The 49ers are going to exhibit patience when it comes to getting Alexander back on the field.

"When you do a deal like that, you want the return right away," Lynch said. "But when you're making an investment like this, you've got to make sure he's right. We will hold true to that.

"We are going to do right by him because this is a long-term relationship with us."

Jason Verrett, who is working his way back from a torn Achilles, is going to continue his rehab in Orange County.

3. Taking a Swing for OBJ

Lynch confirmed that the 49ers engaged in trade talks for former New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. He didn't get into any specifics beyond that.

"That was ongoing," Lynch said. "It's been long talked about, and I don't want to get into why it didn't happen and all that. We tried. They tried. It was just the way things were set up, it wasn't a fit."

This is a week where general managers from around the league are able to develop relationships. That rapport and trust can prove to be valuable when discussing trades.

4. Replacing Bradley Pinion

The 49ers found themselves in need of a punter once Bradley Pinion signed a multi-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They ultimately landed on Justin Vogel as Pinion's replacement. Vogel averaged 44.4 yards per punt as a rookie with the Green Bay Packers in 2017. He spent all of 2018 as a free agent, and has now found another home in San Francisco.

"He had an effective rookie year in Green Bay," Lynch said. "The guy has punted at a high level."

Lynch, who admitted he's no punting expert, shared that special teams coordinator Richard Hightower loves Vogel's size at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. Vogel also has kickoff experience during his college days at Miami. That's something Pinion handled during his four seasons with the 49ers.

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