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Six takeaways from John Lynch’s pre-draft press conference

GM John Lynch covered multiple topics in his pre-draft chart - we have the highlights

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch met with the media in the John McVay draft room for a special pre-draft availability. He covered many topics connected to the draft as well as the current roster.

They have shortened the list for their first pick in 2017:

The biggest question for the new regime is who they will draft with the number two overall pick of the draft. When asked if they have it narrowed down to two or three options, Lynch replied:

I would say that’s fair. I think the, what I’m real proud of the process is that it probably started much bigger than that. I think we tried to create an environment that’s collaborative, where people can be confident in sharing their opinions, and we had strong opinions, and they didn’t always agree, but we’ve gotten to a point where there’s consensus. Ultimately, it will be Kyle and I together making those decisions and that’s kind of where we are this week.

There has been talk about a trade for the second pick:

I can tell you with number two, there have been calls. There’s been interest. But, I think nothing specific. It’s coveted. When you have a pick that high, I think that’s natural. Again, my first time doing this, but we have received calls and I can tell you that we feel really good about where we’re at with the number two pick in terms of us narrowing down options and feeling really good about where we’re at. But, I’ve been very transparent from the beginning that we’ll listen. I think that will always be the case and it certainly is. We’re going to listen right up until draft day, but otherwise we’re going to pick a player at two that we feel is a cornerstone for this franchise for years to come and we’ll be very passionate about that pick and what that player can do for us moving forward.

This week’s minicamp will have some play in the draft board and there are a few players coming in on a try-out basis:

We have a good understanding of where we are and what we’re looking for. But, I think you’re allowed this with a new regime and we were going to take advantage of it. In terms of just getting a look real quick, and whether that will change our mind on anything, but you would hate not to give guys an opportunity to go show what they are doing before you went out and did that. So, we’ll use it for what it’s worth. I don’t know how much value. I think more than anything our coaches are just really excited to get guys out on the field, so we’ll use it as such. We’ve got a couple players in here on a tryout basis and so we’re happy for that, to see if we can add some things. But, we’ll evaluate but continue to work on the draft process as well.

Jimmie Ward’s 5th year option will be addressed after the draft:

The 49ers have until May 3rd to pick up the 5th year option for the cornerback. Lynch noted that Ward will play both safety and corner to start out the season. When asked if the option had been decided upon, Lynch replied:

No, we haven’t yet. So, that doesn’t speak to any confidence or lack thereof that we have. Just to be perfectly honest, we obviously have to conduct business, but we’ve been pretty focused in here and free agency and we’ll get to a lot of that stuff. I’ve been saying that on a lot of things. ‘I’ll get to that after the draft.

I think we’re going to work him at both spots, but we would like to give him an opportunity to see if, we feel like there’s a match with his skills and what he can do to the free safety position that we’re going to have in this system. Like anyone else, he’ll compete. But, we want to give him that opportunity. I don’t think just because some other things that have transpired and there’s a need at corner, we’re going to deviate from that plan. We want to give him that opportunity and I think that’s the plan right now, to work him a little at both. In this camp, starting tomorrow, he’ll have that opportunity.

They are looking for “football character.”

Yeah, that will always be a guiding principle. I think one of the things we really have done a good job is kind of forcing ourselves, we’ve gone through a lot of exercises to really put down on paper, to articulate what it is that we’re striving for, what it is we’re looking for, what that 49er-way as we hope to reestablish I, how you do that. And I think the one thing to know is, and I’ve learned from playing and from this process, is a lot of people have issues just like a lot of people in life have issues. So, if you’re looking for a bunch of choir boys, it’s not going to happen. It’d be hard to fill a team, but we believe in football character. Do they love football? Are they dependable? Are they accountable? Those type of things. And so, I think each circumstance, each player, deserves and will get looked at in a unique and thorough way and that’s what we’ll do there.

He’s ready:

This is the first draft for John Lynch in a front office position. He had felt like he was running behind in the evaluation the process due to being named GM just prior to the Super Bowl. Being in broadcasting limited his college game viewing over the past several years so he has engulfed himself in film study, but now, he finally feels he is caught up.

I think one thing I learned, when you’re working with highly driven, successful people, quarterbacks, head coaches, I never wanted in the broadcast world to waste their time. So, you better come in prepared and you better know the type of questions that people find stimulating and the type of questions that, I’ve always believed you ask a dumb question, you’re going to get a dumb answer and you’re going to get a dumb response. And so, I never try to do that. I think from that sense, it really helped me. It helped me just, I believe in preparation to be great at anything. You better put your work in and I worked really hard at that. So, I watched a ton of film on every side of the football as well and even though it’s through a difference lens, I think it was extremely helpful. It also gave me kind of a global outlook on the league. The one thing I would tell you, I hadn’t watched as much college football because I was so focused on my NFL job other than watching a team up north here that I have a great affinity for. I’ve watched them a lot when possible. So, this was just more about diving into the film. And at some point, we’ve got just under 200 players on our draft board, that we see as draftable players on our board. We’ve been exhaustive. I’ve been exhaustive. My family’s not here. They’re down in San Diego finishing school. So, I’ve been spending a lot of time in here and it was needed this year because I had a lot of catch-up to do. I can tell you that just last night I finally got to the point, I always knew as a player like, ‘OK. I’m ready.’ That moment was yesterday for me where I said, ‘OK. I’m ready. I’m ready to go on this thing.’ That’s a good feeling.”