SANTA CLARA — Reaction is still pouring in about 49ers No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas — I’ll have my column later, but I’m not feeling too hot about the pick. Versatility on the defensive line is something San Francisco already possessed. There will be expectations on Thomas to be a game-changer, something I’m not sure he can live up to.
Minutes after the chaos of trading down with the Chicago Bears and selecting Thomas, GM John Lynch appeared on KNBR.
Lynch revealed something pretty surprising: It was chief strategy officer Paraag Marathe who executed the trade, not the first-time GM himself. Lynch said Marathe was directly in contact with Bears GM Ryan Pace and presented the trade offer for Lynch to approve of.
“We assigned Paraag to trades,” Lynch said. “He’s very good at it. He’s very skilled. We’ve got the NFL chart, we’ve got our own chart that Bill Walsh charged him with developing years ago. This was something I chronicled how this trade derived, when it really started to gather steam, which I think was yesterday. Then we headed into today, at that point I turned it over to him. He came to me and said, ‘What do you think?’ And I said, ‘I think we have a deal. Let’s go.'”
By moving down one spot in the draft, the 49ers netted picks No. 67, No. 111 and a third-rounder in 2018. According to the traditional trade value chart, San Francisco clearly won in draft pick compensation. The Bears took UNC quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick.
The notion a few months ago that Marathe is a liability to the organization is quickly evaporating. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported in January he was an impediment in Jed York’s search for a new coach and GM.
But on Thursday, Lynch was not afraid to publicly give Marathe credit for the deal. The executive is entering his 17th season with the 49ers. Many have said Lynch’s best trait is delegating tasks, and knowing what he doesn’t know. He trusted Marathe’s expertise and San Francisco was praised for the trade haul they received.
Listen to Lynch’s full interview below: