The Athletic’s Mike Lombardi has taken a lot of heat over the past couple of days as he’s dug his heels in stating that the 49ers listened to the pressure from social media — which is a very real thing and teams absolutely put stock into — and switched their pick from Mac Jones to Trey Lance.
Do you realize how that sounds when you say that out loud?
It was always going to be Trey Lance. Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have said as much, with their zeroed-in focus dating back to January. And yet, some of those same people who thought it was going to be Jones continue to purport a baseless opinion, even in the face of a clearly opposing reality.
“I’m not buying it was Trey Lance all along,” The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi told FOX Sports Radio’s Jason McIntyre on Monday. “Anybody you talk to in the NFL that has sources — they aren’t buying that either. [San Francisco] can say it was Trey all along — that’s a crock of crap. They traded up to get Mac Jones and the outside pressure became really bad.”
This is an odd group that may see some changes during the offseason. Dee Ford’s health could shake things up for the better, and defensive tackle Zach Kerr will also factor into that battle for interior spots.
Round 6, No. 194: Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana
Another running back for the 49ers?
This is the lone pick that will raise some eyebrows, since the 49ers need depth in their receiving corps. The cupboard is pretty bare below George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk, and the Niners could have really used some extra talent here.
But Elijah Mitchell is a homerun hitter, and broke off some really big plays in college, so he could see some minutes in the passing game out of the backfield.
49ers Grade: C+
According to the letter, Doyle “crossed a line” during an April 15 Zoom meeting in which Doyle reportedly said the team wanted him to “sleep with the fishes” and blasted the “thugs” team employees work for.
Doyle later issued a statement of his own accusing the 49ers of making “false and defamatory” statements about him. He said that City Councilman Suds Jain once noted that the 49ers “wanted [him] gone,” which he took as a threat.
The 49ers will be looking for Jalen Hurd, Richie James Jr., and perhaps Mohammed Sanu or River Cracraft to step up there. Wide receiver has been where the 49ers have spent most of their draft capital under Shanahan. It is time they finally start letting their talent get some chances.
I believe James is the best to handle it right now. He demonstrated when given a sizeable workload last season that he can produce. He simply just needs the opportunities. That way, at least, the 49ers can ease Hurd back in. The guy has had a brutal start to his NFL career, from a back injury, to then suffering a torn ACL. Let Hurd take his time, then look to slowly increase his chances.