Takeaways from 49ers pre-draft media session


John Lynch met with the local media before the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday in Las Vegas. During the nearly 30-minute session, Lynch was asked about several key topics. .


Here are my key takeaways.


Deebo Samuel will be a 49er in 2022.


The 49ers have a very public contract negotiation taking place with Deebo Samuel. 


When asked if he was open to giving in to the wide receivers’ trade demand, Lynch did not sound as though he was ready to make such a move. 


“I can’t ever imagine wanting to move on from Deebo,” responded Lynch.


“He’s just too good of a player. I mean, you think of 2019, the 36th pick to come up with someone like Deebo, who you know to me has just been a game-changing player for our franchise. He’s the perfect illustration of when will meets skill.”


“I think by virtue of the way he plays, it’s inspiring, and to me, that entails leadership, you know, do you make people around you better. He checks that box, and he’s a great teammate.”


Later in the session, Lynch may have given another indication regarding the team’s direction with Samuel. 


When asked about if there have been internal discussions about providing the maximum support to Trey Lance as he transitions to the starting quarterback role, Lynch mentioned Deebo Samuel. 

“We’re always conscious of that, and we think we’ve got a good roster,” said Lynch. We’ve got George Kittle to be there for Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Jauan Jennings, all these guys.”


Alex Mack will retire.


Speaking with reporters at the NFL annual meeting last month, General Manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were optimistic Mack would come back for a 14th NFL season. However, both stopped short of giving a definitive answer on the center’s future.


Asked for an update on Mack’s status, the 49ers general manager struck a different tone.


“We’ve been in discussion with Alex, communicating with him,” said Lynch. “I’m not going to speak for Alex on that, and I think at the appropriate time, Alex will comment on that.” 

Could a rookie center come in, pick up the offense and be a 17-game starter?


According to Lynch, “It’s a tough position to come in and play right away.”


“One thing about our system, I don’t think there’s as much on the center in terms of making every protection call and things of that nature as many systems. We probably afforded Alex that opportunity because he was so capable, but that doesn’t have to be the case. And so there are things we can do.”


Lynch feels the 49ers roster has become better.


Lynch was asked about the common critique of the team not accomplishing their main offseason objectives. These include that Deebo Samuel hasn’t signed a new contract, Jimmy Garoppolo is still on the roster, and the offseason has been subpar. 


The 49ers general manager doesn’t buy that narrative. 


The team went into the offseason looking to improve on special teams but didn’t want to sign players who were limited only to that role. 


Players such as Oren Burks, George Odom, and Ray-Ray McCloud add value to the 49ers special team units while also providing valuable depth at linebacker, safety, and wide receiver. 


Lynch of Jimmy Garoppolo


“Jimmy is working hard in the rehab process. He did a surgery down in Los Angeles and is doing the rehab down there. We’ve been in contact with him, and I think the progress is good. So, he’s tracking kind of right where we said, you know, throwing towards the end of June and then wrapping it up from there.”


I believe Garoppolo will not be with the team in 2022, and there’s a strong possibility he will be traded. Should the Panthers not use their first-round pick on a quarterback, keep an eye on Carolina as a landing spot.


Golden Nuggets

– Darqueze Dennard has been getting work at nickel corner with the first unit. It’s extremely early, OTA’s have just begun, but it’s a little tidbit on how things stand.


– According to Fred Warner, Javon Kinlaw looks to be in the best shape he’s been in. The 14th player selected in 2020, Kinlaw has dealt with knee injuries throughout his first two seasons with San Francisco. The 49ers are looking for Kinlaw to fill the void left by the departure of D.J. Jones to Denver during free agency. 

This article has 8 Comments

    1. $4,275,000 according to OTC.

      I watched the session and I really admire how Lynch remains so even keeled and just rolls with it. I knew he wouldn’t give any definitive answers to Deebo questions and I’m sure everybody there did to, but the questions kept coming and Lynch just kept smiling and politely declining.

      If they get an offer they can’t refuse – meaning something more than more established players like Adams and Hill commanded in trade – they’ll make it but I don’t see it happening. It never puts a team in a good position when a player puts a good to their head and I would imagine it affects what other teams are willing to offer. If they don’t trade him this week he’s a Niner for another year at the very least.

      I’m not sure the roster is better, but it is still very formidable and better at the CB position and ST’s. Everything looks ok with the exception of the OL. If Mack retires that means replacing C and LG likely with young players and that’s always a question mark. McGlinchey looked healthy and positive which is good to see. I hope he is able to come back strong.

  1. In the not-too-distant past (3/4 years ago?), there was an assertion made in the run-up to the draft that there was a sharp disconnect between 9er scouts and the front office when it came to player rankings and selections. Lot’s of bad juju, it seemed.

    JH — Do you sense this is the case in 2022?

    1. Ya could be true and for the better. Think about the misses in the beginning of the Shana/Lynch regime: Foster, Thomas, Pettis, Williams, Hurd, Beathard, Witherspoon

      The 49ers have gotten much better contributions from players in the early rounds.

    2. Who made the assertion based on what rift?

      I’ve always thought that if the scouts don’t look for the type of players the GM/Coach want or they fail to evaluate them accurately they get replaced.

      The previous GM certainly tried to build a team that was somewhat different than the goals of the current GM/Coach. I expect that those differences were taken care of five years ago.

      Coming out of the pandemic I would be surprised if Jack has had access to the top people in the scouting department. Are they even part of his 49er beat? Do NFL teams make their scouting department available to the press/media?

      1. Five years ago probably had the worst high level draft mistakes. Three years ago was pretty good based on Deebo and Bosa. Maybe it’s been a learning curve deal.

        1. ppl will trash shanalynch for the first round misses in 2017…..and thats fair…..but by doing so…..they reveal their cluelessness of the actual context :
          1. we had given up either the most rushing yards in either NFL history or 49er history (or…..maybe both)
          2.reinforcing the middle of a historically poor defense was a sound strategy.
          3. Ruben Foster was the best ILB prospect….and a consensus top 10 pick prior to running his mouth at the combine.
          3. Thomas was an athletic DT prospect….and Aaron Donald was all the rave…..with everyone looking for a similar athletic freak to disrupt the pocket from the interior as well as stuff the run.
          4. although we had taken DTs with our 1st round picks in 2 previous drafts….AA & DB were actually drafted to play DE by Baalke in a 3-4
          5.Kirk Cousins was going to be our top FA pick up the following year in 2018. So we did not seriously consider qb prospects.
          6. In hindsight, Mahomes and Watson would be the top 2 picks….but in reality neither were taken in the top 10. The whole league missed the mark on them ( had KC or HOU really known how good they were…..they would have traded the farm to move up to the top 3)

          the thinking was sound 5 years ago. Foster was insane ( lied about ending relationship with toxic person then snuck her into team hotel) and Thomas didnt pan out.
          You can plan a perfect vacation and have it derailed by traffic or rain or other unforeseen circumstances. The perfect trip to the theme park can go awry when half the best rides are closed at the last minute.

          I dont see mistakes from 5 years ago, the thought process was more than sound. it was perfect! Every draft pick is a gamble…..and we lost 2 bets we should have won. PERIOD!

          1. Thomas is a decent player drafted too high. I watched him at Stanford and liked him at that level. He just couldn’t dominate at the NFL level.

            Foster was a character failure.

            Still, even in that first draft there was nothing to match Baalke’s envelop fiasco.

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