Heading to the NFL Draft, we knew that the 49 would choose quarterback in 3rd place overall. Then many analysts, myself included, thought that 49ers could add depth at a wide receiver and edge.
When we looked at the best players available on Day 2, we mentioned how the confidence of the teams in Jalen Hurd and Dee Ford would be expressed based on their selection for the rest of the project.
A few kicks later, and no edge picker or walker was selected. This is a recommendation for both players. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch were asked why they neglected both positions in the project. Here is what Shanahan had to say:
“I think it̵7;s one thing that’s always difficult to design from the point of view of the fans or the people who just watch it. Everyone thinks you know the needs and many people are right with certain things, but you don’t get into a draft just by choosing everything you want. There is a huge assessment. You don’t know who will get there. Yes, there are some positions you want more than others.
So if some guys are in the same area of talent and other things, you always stick to the needs, but it doesn’t always work out that way. We didn’t get into this project thinking we would take two running backwards. We really liked where it was.
So, I wouldn’t say consider this more than that. I would always like to get a receiver. I would always like to get involved, but this has to be someone you think your team can make, so it all depends on where this round fell and what it was and when we got there. “
I heard someone over the weekend say something like “you want to recruit boys in the circles they’re meant to go to,” which means you want to understand the value of those players.
The 49 were probably in a wide receiver or edge, but the value was never in line with where they chose. This explains the trade in the second round. This also explains why the team trades for Trey Sermon.
Lynch continued from Shanahan’s point of view.
Yes, and I think indicative of that, [OL] Jaylan Moore, our first pick in the fifth, was not our intention to take a guard. It was that he really was the person we had the highest score for, and we didn’t just rank. We go through how people feel in this room and how doomed we all are. We felt a lot of conviction there, so I think at that point in some cases we weren’t married in certain positions.
Yes, you need to, you have to try to fill it, but we just think that Jaylan, [RB] Elijah [Mitchell] probably fall into this category, where at that time they were the best players. When you can do both, which I think we did [CB Deommodore] Lenoir and [S Talanoa] Hufanga, then it really gets in order. “
The 49ers project was determined by the best player available.
Everyone wants their team to produce the best player available until they reach a position they don’t believe is necessary.