The NFL draft is a poker game of sorts, with teams trying to convince other teams they want to do what they actually don’t want to do. A team might have their eye on one specific player, but they want other teams convinced they have their eye on multiple players. More draft picks provides more opportunities, and convincing a team to make a trade they likely don’t need to do can be a valuable exercise.
On Monday, we have seen the San Francisco 49ers continuing this poker game. Early in the day, Ian Rapoport reported that the team was strongly considering a quarterback at No. 2. We’ve heard all sorts of reports pairing the 49ers with everyone from Mitchell Trubisky to Leonard Fournette to Reuben Foster.
General manager John Lynch met with the media on Monday, and he seems happy with how he thinks are playing out. He said he is confident everything out there are nothing more than assumptions. He said, “nothing has left this building.” He said that sometimes if you are transparent, that’s the best poker you can play, removing room for shenanigans.
It could be possible nothing has left the building. Given what we see every year, and what happened under the last general manager, that is a little hard to believe. At the same time, nobody reported Lynch as a GM candidate until after the 49ers announced he was the new GM. There were a lot fewer people involved in that process, so make of it what you will, but he also does not seem like someone to outright lie about things. But what do we know, right?
It is still amusing to consider all the games being played. The 49ers want to encourage teams to move up, but they don’t want to seem desperate. It’s a tricky balance to maintain. John Lynch’s first big test as GM was figuring out who the 49ers wanted in free agency. The next big test is figuring out the right way to handle that No. 2 pick. With only Myles Garrett to the Browns ahead of them, we’ll have a pretty good idea of what Lynch & Co. have had in mind as the draft approaches.