John Lynch Press Conference Quick Hitters
Quote: “Nick Bosa is a player that we have long coveted and has grown in our appreciation every time that we have watched him. I think he adds to a very talented group on the defensive line, which is something that Kyle (Shanahan) and I had as a priority when we got here. While we would’ve been happy with Quinnen, with Nick (Bosa), we felt that that was a piece that we could still use. Another edge guy.”
Analysis: Leading up to the draft, there was a lot of discussion on whether or not the 49ers should draft the best player in the draft in Quinnen Williams if still available. Lynch expressed this same sentiment, and that topic surfaced in the team’s draft room. Openly admitting that Williams and Bosa had a very similar grade, positional value and need were the deciding factors for Lynch and the 49ers. With the logjam that the team currently has at defensive tackle with DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, and Solomon Thomas, the decision to select Bosa over Williams is easy to understand.
Quote: “When we saw Deebo Samuel, a player we got real familiar with down at the Senior Bowl, but more than anything, you turn this guy’s game tape on and you see one of the elite competitors in college football this year that I saw. This guy, you’re gonna have to fight him. He’s going to fight for yards. I think that type of play is contagious. He’s got real juice. He can catch the ball and break away.”
Analysis: Samuel’s stock soared following the Senior Bowl, and that is exactly what Lynch mentions in this quote. His leadership and competitiveness were easy to see during the week of practice down in Mobile and of any prospect participating, he helped himself the most. Being that he is a return specialist, that is essentially what Samuel turns into after the catch. His 210 yards on 10 catches and three touchdowns against Clemson was a prime example of that.
Quote: “Jalen Hurd. It’s so important that your coaches have a vision for how you’re going to use a player and that’s something that became crystal clear and is very exciting. The different ways in which we can use Jalen.”
Analysis: Even though he didn’t get to perform for most of the pre-draft process, there still was a lot of buzz surrounding Hurd. The biggest question mark was which position that he would play. Landing with a creative offensive mind was key for his career going forward, as well. Drafted into the perfect situation with the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan left his position open and labeled him as a running back, receiver, and tight end in a span of five minutes. It’s clear that the team wants to utilize his skill set in a multitude of ways.
Quote: “With all due respect to the other punters on the roster, we thought that Mitch Wishnowsky was a big-time prospect. I think Kyle and I studied punters more than we ever will and hopefully he’s the long-term answer. We’re talking maybe like a 10-year guy. He has a huge leg and inside the plus-50 he’s adept at pinning people back. He has all the clubs you need in the bag. He has all of these different styles, which is kind of the new thing in punting. He can hit it with different spins. We felt like had we not taken him there, he would’ve been taken.”
Analysis: The first specialist selected in the draft, Lynch was fired up talking about Wishnowsky. Rambling on about how they were so impressed with his film and different type of approaches to punts, they viewed the former Ray Guy Award winner as a weapon as a result. Showing to be fully comfortable, Lynch defended his decision to take a punter in the fourth round.
San Francisco 49ers Draft Recap
(1st Round) No. 2 – Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
A defense that set an NFL single-season record for the fewest forced turnovers ever (7), pairing Bosa with Dee Ford gives the 49ers a formidable duo off of the edge, combined with the interior of DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, and Solomon Thomas. The former Buckeyes edge rusher can make an immediate impact on a defense that hasn’t had a consistent edge rusher since the glory days of Aldon Smith.
(2nd Round) No. 36 – Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
A fit that was talked about a lot leading up to the draft, the reigning MVP at the Senior Bowl, Samuel now joins an offense that will offer him the opportunity to step in right away and compete for a starting position. The master at creating separation, Samuel will be a welcome addition to a receiving unit that’s still trying to find chemistry with Jimmy Garoppolo. The former Gamecock offers a versatile weapon, who can be placed in the slot or on the outside.
(3rd Round) No. 67 – Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
After starting off his career at Tennessee as a running back, Hurd decided to transfer to Baylor while also making a position switch to wide receiver. A player that could fill multiple roles, he goes to a situation with one of the best offensive minds in the business in Kyle Shanahan, who is sure to utilize Hurd’s versatility. A prospect who’s still trying to feel his way out at the position, Samuel couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot to begin his career.
(4th Round) No. 110 (via CIN) – Mitch Wishnowsky, P, Utah
The 2016 Ray Guy Award winner and former three-time All-American could become a weapon in the special teams game that could consistently help with field position. Wishnowsky has a very strong leg that the team deemed worthy of an early day three selection. The 49ers’ newest punter will assuredly have high expectations considering, as is the case with every highly-drafted specialist.
(5th Round) No. 148 – Dre Greenlaw, LB, Arkansas
A bit of an undersized linebacker vertically, his greatest assets come in the passing game. His athleticism and hip flexibility shine when asked to cover running backs and tight ends in man coverage. An ideal backup behind Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander, Greenlaw could step into the third linebacker role immediately.
(6th Round) No. 176 – Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford
A productive in-line threat for the Cardinal, he’s more of a receiving threat than a true blocker. Struggling against press coverage has been his biggest downfall, but going to a team that utilizes multiple tight end sets could prove to help out his struggles against in that area with creative concepts that potentially can manipulate him into easy catches.
(6th Round) No. 183 – Justin Skule, OT, Vanderbilt
A 40-game starter over the duration of his career, the 49ers took a shot on finding a late-round backup swing tackle in Skule. With experience at both right and left tackle, Skule could be a practice squad player that proves to be an intriguing developmental option. If he’s able to stick to the roster in some capacity, improving his lack of bend and strength at the point of attack will need to be made as points of emphasis.
(6th Round) No. 198 – Tim Harris, CB, Virginia
At 6’2″ and 197 pounds, Harris fits the team’s cornerback mold. Constantly preaching about length and disruption, the former Virginia corner brings both of those factors to the table. Missing a significant amount of time in 2016 and 2017 due to shoulder injuries before bouncing back last season, durability will be an area that he has to continue to prove that he can remain consistent in to have a chance at cracking the final roster or practice squad.
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