The San Francisco 49ers had an incredibly active draft, and Thursday was the craziest of the three days. The team was able to move down one spot and pick up two threes and a four in the process. More importantly, they were able to land the guy they wanted from the beginning. Even more importantly? They landed the guy they would have considered at No. 3 if their favorite was gone.
On Thursday evening, 49ers GM John Lynch told the media he likely would have taken Reuben Foster at No. 3 if the Bears had taken Solomon Thomas. I think a lot of people were skeptical of that, but we have another report to back that up. MMQB founder Peter King was embedded with the 49ers during the draft, and provided an excellent detailed account of how everything went down.
We’ll get into some of the other details later, but it opens with the first round. The 49ers were comfortable doing the deal with the Bears given how much they got, even though they had no idea who the Bears were going to select. John Lynch thought it would be Solomon Thomas, while Paraag Marathe had a gut feeling it would be Mitchell Trubisky.
Before the Bears pick, the 49ers decided they would be comfortable with Foster at No. 3. They thought there was no chance he slips past the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 9. Marathe had a preliminary conversation with Foster’s agent about contract concessions given his off-the-field issues. The 49ers senior medical person, Jeff Ferguson, signed off on the shoulder concerns that many had raised.
And then the Bears picked Trubisky. That enabled the 49ers to land Solomon Thomas. They then attempted to move back from No. 3 because they thought they could get as far down as No. 8 and still land him. When nobody bit, they picked Thomas, and figured they would not be able to land Foster from there.
King goes into the 49ers plans after that, with their hope that T.J. Watt might be there for them. However, as Foster slipped and slipped, they were calling everybody up and down the draft board. Eventually they worked out a deal with Seattle after the Seahawks moved down from No. 26 to No. 31. That led to this amusing exchange aout John Schneider’s peeing habits
Seattle GM John Schneider (26) called.
Marathe: “John, we got a nice juicy fourth pick in the fourth round, 111 overall, for you to move … Yeah, I know, but we like 67 [the third-round pick] too.”
Schneider would think about it.
“He’s got to pee,” Marathe said. “He’ll call back.”
Fifteen minutes passed. Marathe called Schneider back. “Still in?”
Lynch: “Ask him how the pee was.”
Shanahan: “Long one.”
The 49ers called Schneider back when they were on the clock at No. 31, and with 80 seconds left on the ten-minute clock, they got a deal done, and the 49ers had Foster.
There are a couple other great stories in the article, so I highly recommend giving it a read.