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John Lynch remembers moment 49ers fell in love with Nick Bosa



Last year, the 49ers needed one 15-minute NFL Combine interview to know Mike McGlinchey was the player they coveted in the first round. He commanded the room and spoke like a 15-year veteran, traits that deemed a followup meeting futile.

The 49ers spent much more time with Nick Bosa, whom they selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft Thursday evening. He was more subdued in his 15-minute interview at February’s NFL Combine, so the 49ers brass wanted additional visits and meetings with his coaches and teammates to understand the breadth of Bosa as a person and teammate.

Their takeaways were nothing but positive.

49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR about 30 minutes after they selected Bosa Thursday. Lynch told a story, which he called “indelible,” from his visit with 49ers Vice President of Player Personnel Adam Peters to Ohio State’s Rose Bowl practice in late December.

After starring in 2017, Bosa’s 2018 season was cut short after three games, which included four sacks. He had surgery to repair a core muscle injury, and his recovery separated him from the team throughout much of the season. But he showed up to the Rose Bowl practice — and the team took notice.

“Literally, and it happened very organically,” Lynch said, “we are standing on the sidelines and they stop practice. Every coach and every player on that team went up and had an embrace with Nick Bosa. Guys are crying. And that stuck with me; that’s a great teammate.

“Then we start talking with more coaches, more players. ‘Tell us about this guy.’ They all say, ‘Tremendous teammate.’ He is beloved throughout that program, and in a situation when he left his team because of an injury and chose to train elsewhere and get healthy, they could have had some animosity. Instead, here is everybody on the field embracing this guy, and that spoke volumes to me.”

Kyle Shanahan met Bosa for the first time at Indianapolis’ NFL Combine back in February. While Bosa’s quiet demeanor differed from McGlinchey’s, Shanahan was struck by the confidence both exuded.

“What’s neat about both of them is, you sit there in a room with them and they are themselves, and a lot of guys aren’t in those situations,” Shanahan said. “They are with head coaches, general managers, they know they are being evaluated. Sometimes they are overzealous, they try to prove themselves. You can tell these guys are extremely confident in who they are. They are also football players.”

Listen to the segment with Lynch and Shanahan below.