INDIANAPOLIS – John Lynch was the first man to the podium on Thursday morning at the 2018 NFL Combine. The San Francisco 49ers general manager spoke to reporters for nearly 20 minutes. Lynch, unsurprisingly, was peppered about questions regarding Jimmy Garoppolo.
There were a few other interesting nuggets surrounding the rest of the roster. Here’s what you need to know from Lynch’s press conference.
1. Bringing Back Brock
Brock Coyle could be the next 49ers player in line for a new contract. Lynch said that the team is in talks with Coyle’s agent about bringing the linebacker back in 2018. Coyle played in all 16 games last season (10 starts) and recorded a career-high 72 tackles.
“We have interest in bringing Brock back, and we’re working towards that,” Lynch said. “He played well for us. We want him to be a part of us.”
Coyle served as San Francisco’s MIKE linebacker to close the year and wore the helmet with the communication system in order to relay play calls in the huddle. Leadership ability and knowledge of the defense are part of the draw in bringing him back. The uncertainty surrounding Reuben Foster also makes it necessary to add depth at inside linebacker.
The 49ers have already re-signed Cassius Marsh, Daniel Kilgore and Garry Gilliam this offseason.
“We want to keep that going,” Lynch said. “We want to reward our own players."
Lynch added that nothing is imminent. Coyle is currently rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn labrum.
2. What about Hyde?
The 49ers GM indicated that the team is meeting with Pierre Garçon’s representation this week. Lynch called Hyde “a good football player” on Wednesday, but added on Thursday that a deal isn’t imminent.
3. Why Jimmy?
Lynch shared that prior to trading for Garoppolo, he and Kyle Shanahan watched tape of the former New England Patriots backup. Garoppolo’s traits immediately put him on the 49ers radar.
“The physical skills were noticeable – his ability to get rid of the ball efficiently and accurately,” Lynch said. “There wasn’t a whole lot to watch, but what you watched you really liked.”
4. A True Pro
So now that Garoppolo has gone from heralded backup to highly-paid franchise QB, the search for the next “Jimmy G.” is already underway. Lynch suggested that guy might be on the 49ers roster in C.J. Beathard. The GM lauded Beathard for how he handled being benched for Garoppolo.
“We think very highly of C.J. One of the reasons we were able to be patient with Jimmy was because C.J. was playing well and improving each and every week,” Lynch said. “He’s handled this tremendously well. It’s motivated him to become even better. We love his make up and what he’s all about.”
Beathard threw for 1,430 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions in seven games. He led the 49ers to their first win of the season in Week 10 against the New York Giants.
5. Quality Time
George Kittle and Trent Taylor were two promising members of San Francisco’s productive rookie class in 2017. They each caught 43 passes as they evolved into every down players.
So what’s next for the talented skill players?
“I think for George, his talent is pretty unique,” Lynch said. “I think he’s going to figure out ways to stay healthy. I think the injury bug hit him. That happens for a lot of rookies. It’s a long season, but we’re very high on him.
“Trent Taylor has a skill. He can get open. He can separate. When you have a quarterback who can put it on you, that’s a good combination.”