John Lynch cares not for anyone's take about how little experience he has as a general manager. The new GM is settling right in to his new role as he engineered two significant trades in a productive first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Lynch's first deal moved the San Francisco 49ers down a spot from pick No. 2 to pick No. 3. In the process, they acquired a trio of selections from the Chicago Bears: A third rounder (67) and fourth rounder (111) in 2017, as well as third rounder in 2018. San Francisco then dealt their 34th overall pick and the 111th pick to the Seattle Seahawks to get back into the first round with pick No. 31.
So here's what all that wheeling and dealing netted the 49ers: Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (No. 3), Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (No. 31) and two additional draft choices (No. 66 in 2017 and a third rounder in 2018).
Lynch's savvy ability to negotiate wasn't the only thing we learned on Thursday…The 49ers Got Their Guys
San Francisco's GM explained just how highly the team thinks of their haul in Round 1.
"We had a board, as you guys heard the other day, with just under 200 players," Lynch said in a presser. "In terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players."**
Thomas Provides Something Different**
The 49ers have now taken a defensive lineman in the first round of the past three drafts. But, Lynch was quick to point out that Thomas brings a far different skillset to the table compared to Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. The Stanford product has a true pass-rush pedigree and has the ability to line up all over the defensive line.
"We see a special football player and a disruptive football player who has tremendous versatility," Lynch said. "He's a little different than the guys we have right now. When I think of Solomon, I think of speed and quickness and disruption."**
Foster is a Prototype LB**
Lynch told reporters that they called a number of teams looking to get back into the first round. When the Seahawks finally bit, the 49ers were ecstatic to land Foster. In addition, it has been reported that the New Orleans Saints were hoping to take the linebacker at pick No. 32.
"Reuben Foster is my kind of player," Lynch said. "He plays sideline to sideline, and he'll hit anything that moves. I think that's contagious for teammates."
So just how high is Foster's ceiling? The linebacker said that he wants to be the franchise's next Patrick Willis during a conference call with reporters.
"I hope he's the next Patrick Willis," Lynch said. "We'd be doing really well." **
49ers Were 'Exhaustive' in Analysis of Foster** The reason for Foster's fall in the draft had nothing to do with his ability as a player. Most analysts would tell you that he was a top 10 talent. But a possible shoulder injury and a diluted drug test at the NFL Combine created a cause for concern.
Lynch said that the 49ers did their due diligence in regards to Foster, and they believe they're getting a quality human being.
"I'm proud of that," Lynch said, very transparent of their process. "We met with him at the combine. We had him out for a (pre-draft) visit. We spent time on the phone and on FaceTime with him. When we got serious about him, we sent Keena Turner and Pastor Earl down to Tuscaloosa to meet with Reuben for two days. They had a tremendous visit.
"The young man is going to be disappointed (that he fell) because he felt that he was one of the better players. But what I'll say is that this is a place where Reuben wanted to be. He indicated that numerous times. … He's a genuine young man, and he's got a smile that lights up the room. The way he plays football is special."