When Trent Baalke was general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, he gained a lot of fans here on Niners Nation due to his propensity to make big trades. Baalke knew when to trade back, he knew when to snag an extra fifth-round pick and he knew when he wanted a guy that there was never a point too early to draft that guy.
It didn’t always work out, but creative trades were a mainstay and they were, in my opinion, the only thing he did consistently exceptionally well at. One pick into the 2017 NFL Draft, the 49ers first-time general manager, John Lynch, the 49ers gained a 2017 third- and fourth-round pick in addition to a 2018 third-round pick in exchange for moving down a single spot.
And in doing so, they drafted Solomon Thomas, a defensive end out of Stanford. He’s a player that was routinely mocked to the 49ers all throughout the buildup to the draft. He’s also somebody they were obviously prepared to take at No. 2 overall.
Were there a bunch of teams eager to trade up to No. 2 and move past the Chicago Bears? There’s an equally good chance that there were and that there were not. Either way, Lynch made what I think is a masterful move without even considering the actual pick of Thomas.
You can make a ton of arguments about Thomas and the fact that the 49ers had much more pressing needs, especially after investing in the defensive line with first-round picks in 2015 and 2016. You can say that his actual fit on the defense isn’t really settled just yet. You can say words and words and words about Thomas and his future with the 49ers.
But you can also absolutely say that John Lynch fleeced the Bears in his first draft-related move as a front office executive.
So how do you feel, overall, with Lynch’s first moves? Did he fleece the Bears, and was it a good pick? Or did he fleece the Bears and make a bad pick? I’m interested to know the overall opinion after one pick of Lynch’s young general manager career.