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3 takeaways from John Lynch’s press conference at the owners meetings

The 49ers General manager loves Dee Ford, is invested in Jerick McKinnon, and wants to be dominant up front

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York spoke at the owners meetings. York confirmed that the team was interested in Odell Beckham Jr. during the initial week of free agency. Today, it was general manager John Lynch’s turn to speak. Here are three takeaways.

Dominant defensive line

Lynch made it clear that he has high expectations for the Niners defensive line heading into the 2019 season. He doesn’t want them to be good. He wants them to be dominant:

“We want to become a dominant force there,” Lynch told reporters at the annual league meetings. “We think that’s very important.”

It would be quite the upset if the team chooses to go in a direction other than up front. Looking at the recent investments in first round picks, that’s not exactly breaking news. In order to be dominant you need a someone that can ruin what an offense does on any given snap. Unlike previous years, the team is in a great position to select that player at number two. Nick Bosa is that guy, as is Quinnen Williams.

Dee Ford will help Deforest Buckner

Lynch gushes whenever he speaks about Ford. Monday morning was no different. Here is Lynch on the impact Ford will have:

“Dee is known for, I think, having the best first step in football coming off the edge,” Lynch said. “All of a sudden you have a tackle who doesn’t feel so good about hanging in and helping (block) DeForest.”

Lynch also said that Ford is known around the league for having the best first step in football coming off of the edge. Even if Ford doesn’t get home, his speed around the corner will force quarterbacks to step up in the pocket. Right in Buckner’s lap.

Lynch didn’t seem too worried about there being a logjam when it comes to the players getting enough snaps

“You’ve got to have a quarterback, and you’ve got to have the guys to knock him down,” Lynch said. “Some people want to think that’s one guy. For us, it’s always been collective. I would say there’s enough snaps to go around.”

Ford takes so much pressure off of some of the other role players that will be rushing the passer. It’s a domino effect. It slots some of the guys back to the role where they belong. Less could certainly turn into more for a guy like Solomon Thomas.

Jerick McKinnon isn’t going anywhere

Much was made of what the team was going to do in regards to McKinnon over the last couple weeks. The 49ers reportedly made a serious run at Le’Veon Bell. The team could release McKinnon before April 1st and without much financial burden. Lynch spoke on the subject:

Yeah, Jerick is going to be a part of us,” Lynch said Monday at the NFL owners meeting. “We’re excited to see that through. Jerick’s working incredibly hard,” Lynch said. “He’s always had a chip on his shoulder because that was his first opportunity to be the guy. I’m sure he’ll have a bigger chip on his shoulder. But he’s very much a part of our plans. The way he’s working is very encouraging. But it’s a big thing to come back from, that’s for sure. Yeah, Jerick is going to be a part of us.”

The decision to get rid of McKinnon just doesn’t make much sense. The value he brings to your team is greater than getting out of his contract. McKinnon will receive $3.7 million if he’s on the roster next Monday. The reward outweighs the risk. Especially if you are getting over 1500 yards from scrimmage from your starting running back at that salary. The signing of Tevin Coleman shouldn’t change that. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Coleman line up in the slot more often than not.