During his video conference Monday afternoon, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch was asked about positional value, and how that relates to drafting a wide receiver at No. 13. Lynch referenced how the Niners are expecting a few receivers already on the roster to take the next step:
Last year you were pretty clear you had DL Nick Bosa and New York Jets DL Quinnen Williams; I guess you call them foundational players, but you were at two so you could be maybe a little bit more open about that. At 13, do you have five foundational players you can say or seven? Are there 12? How confident are you if stay at 13, one of those guys will be there? Kind of positionally, philosophically, are you and Kyle maybe not sure that you take a receiver at 13 just positionally on the value chart?
“Well, I think when you look at our receivers, you’ve got this group of guys that we call our redshirt class. Last year you got [WR] Trent [Taylor], and I giggle it wasn’t fun last year. The nice part is you’ve got guys like Trent Taylor who we got a lot of belief in and had a really rough time with that foot thing that got infected and, you know, we feel for him. Trent’s working extremely hard and doing very well, so we’re encouraged by that, but he’s got to come show it when we can finally return to football. [WR] Jalen Hurd is the same way. We are still very high on the guy that we drafted; we just haven’t been able to see it other than the 14 days. I think you can even throw in [WR] Dante Pettis for different reasons in that same deal, but we’re encouraged about all those guys and how that affects our draft. As to the number of foundational players, it’s difficult because there are certain guys that you’re prepared if they were to fall, but as we anticipate, I would say about six guys, and I would still say we’re going through Kyle and myself now. It’s kind of boiled down to that process where Kyle and I are really zeroing in and challenging each other. ‘OK, is this a guy we’re not moving from?’ We’ve got the answer on most of those. We’re playing out a couple more scenarios in our head, but we’ll be prepared come draft day. Kind of a ballpark of where we’re at on that. That’s where we’re at there.”
I was talking to The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen about how Taylor was Jimmy Garoppolo’s go-to receiver in training camp last year. It’s easy to see why the team has so much confidence in Taylor, despite the handful of surgeries. When Lynch mentioned Pettis, he didn’t go into detail on what the “different reasons” were.
Which player falling to 13 would shock you the most? I ask as Monday a few 49ers fans were talking themselves into Isaiah Simmons of Clemson, who is one of the best athletes to come out of college football in the past few years. You all are going to drive yourselves crazy. We still have three full days to go.
Onto some links:
NFL Draft Rumors: Raiders could make perfect trade partners with 49ers (Silver and Black Pride)
5 Reasons Why the 49ers Should Draft K’Lavon Chaisson (Sports Illustrated)