SANTA CLARA — Decked out in red, gold and black 49ers gear, John Lynch watched his first-ever practice as the GM of a football team.
San Francisco hosted three dozen local college prospects on Wednesday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium. It broke up the monotony of watching tape inside the facility, and Kyle Shanahan said Monday he’s unearthed a hidden gem or two before from this event. Lynch met with the media after the light workout drills.
When I asked him if the team had contingency plans and an asking price for the No. 2 pick, he reiterated the 49ers are very open to the idea of trading out of their spot.
“Yeah, yeah,” Lynch began. “There’s the traditional trade chart. We’ve got one of our own. We know how we value that. As I’ve said, we’re open for business. We’ll listen to anything. But I’ve always said you don’t like being a 2-14 team, but you like having the second pick. Because I think it puts you in the drivers seat. A lot of options at your disposal. And we’ll explore every single one of them.”
The 49ers best bet to trade out is coercing a team who wants UNC’s Mitchell Trubisky, who two weeks from the draft has become the most sought after quarterback prospect. The rumor mill has linked the Jets and Browns to Trubisky. Lynch was asked if some of the teams have called him.
“Some of that’s gone on,” Lynch said. “I’m not going to get into specifics on that, but there’s interest. … Like I said, we’re going to look at every possible scenario. We’ve done that.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean the 49ers have ruled out Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick. Or maybe the hope is that a trade down can net the 49ers more picks AND the quarterback they actually want. Lynch said his time as a broadcaster helped him realize how important the quarterback position is, and Shanahan agrees.
“I’ve been very upfront with you guys and everyone,” Lynch said. “Kyle and I, when you start talking about priorities, this is a quarterback driven league. I knew that when I played, I learned it even more as a broadcaster. Because I don’t think I could ever admit it as a player — I didn’t want to give those guys that much credit (laughs) or respect.
“But as I stepped in that broadcast booth, you talk about commonalities between the teams who have had sustained success. They’ve got that guy. Minus a few anomalies, some of the teams I played on in Tampa that were defensive driven. (Quarterback) is a common thread. As long as Kyle and I are here, we’re going to be searching.”
Lynch is not in this alone, but trading out of this spot would be a huge first decision as a GM. The NFL tries to reward teams who go through the agony of a 2-14 season with a blue-chip player. For this rebuild to get moving, the 49ers absolutely have to have a top-flight player drafted in round one.