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NFL executives weigh in on the 49ers 2019 draft class

Some interesting comments from a couple higher-ups in the NFL.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Just about everyone has weighed in on the NFL Draft. ESPN’s Mike Sando recently sat down with some NFL executives and asked for their unfiltered opinions on every teams NFL Draft. Keep in mind, these are anonymous, so they can say anything without any repercussions. What you’re about to read is a great example of that. Here’s what they had to say.

The 49ers could have selected Quinnen Williams second overall. They took Nick Bosa instead. There were few objections.

“I had them graded the same but would have taken Bosa,” a former GM said. “It depends on your system. They are both three-down players to me. Bosa can play in a base 4-3 and then in sub, move into a 3-technique because he is so good with his hands. You cannot teach that stuff.”

One thing that I’m looking forward to is Bosa and Dee Ford lining up on the same side. Gus Bradley, Dan Quinn, and every defensive coordinator that has run the “Seattle Cover 3” defense has done. Robert Saleh hasn’t had a pair of pass rushers to do this.

Bosa was such a highly regarded prospect that selecting him second overall required relatively little discernment. The move did have other implications, however.

“Basically, you are saying that with the third pick two years ago, you missed with Solomon Thomas,” an evaluator said.

I don’t want to sugarcoat this. This is such a dumb quote. If you watched any San Francisco 49ers game in December, you would see No. 94 on defense playing inside. Week 17 against the Rams, Thomas comes off the bench on the third series and subs in for Deforest Buckner, noted defensive tackle. For the next two plays when the Niners went to their sub-package, Buckner played the one technique, over the outside shoulder of the center, and Thomas played the three technique, where Buckner usually plays. Bosa and Thomas do not play the same positIon.

Pretend Thomas was still playing on the edge. Knowing Dee Ford’s contract is team-friendly, if he flops, passing on Bosa is more of a gamble than anything.

You could also look at this as just a best player available situation. That’s it. If Bosa is the best player on the board, take him. That is completely independent of Thomas, Q. Williams, or anyone, honestly.

The 49ers’ decision in the second round was more difficult. Execs gave them high marks for selecting South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel.

“The thing about Samuel is you can say ‘slot guy’ and he probably is, but you can bump him outside some,” an evaluator said. “He has return ability, really good run after the catch, is a great kid and a tough kid.”

The more you hear people talk about Deebo, the more you fall in love with him. “Hard worker”, and “tough kid” keep coming up. I can’t wait to watch Samuel in a Kyle Shanahan offense.