The Senior Bowl is an excellent opportunity for representatives from NFL teams to scout players in preparation for the draft. The 2017 Senior Bowl was held the day before the 49ers hired John Lynch as general manager so this year's opportunity to scout at the event is his first.

"I've only been to Alabama one time in my life," Lynch told NFL Network's Alex Flanagan from the practice field at Ladd–Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on Wednesday. "... First time in Mobile and having a great time."

While the Senior Bowl is a big opportunity for NFL teams, the same can be said about the players participating in the game. There are over 100 players gathered in Mobile who hope to make an impression on observers like Lynch. With so many draft prospects to watch, speak to, and interview, the 49ers general manager knows how important it is for him to make the best use of his time this week.

"One thing you realize right away is you can't see everything," Lynch said. "So you kind of divvy it up amongst your staff and really focus on something different each practice. That's what you try to do.

"There is definitely something to seeing someone in person. You see things on film, and the film doesn't lie, but sometimes you just get a little different perspective in person. It's always the best way to see guys. This is, I think, why this is such a great opportunity. They're actually playing football. They're not running 40s."

Linebacker Reuben Foster, who was the second of two first-round draft picks by San Francisco last year, was arrested in Alabama for second-degree possession of marijuana on January 12. Lynch was asked how important it is to assess the character of draft prospects during the evaluation process.

"That's critical because you start defining the type of guys you want in your building," Lynch said. "As important as the talent is, that piece is just as important. You look at the successful organizations, and they've figured that out.

"I think the staffs of the Texans and Broncos, they probably have the biggest advantage because they're in the meetings. But any opportunity -- we have interviews down here -- and you get an opportunity to get a head start on that."

You can watch the interview with Lynch below, courtesy of NFL Network.


The Senior Bowl, which takes place on January 27, concludes bowl season for college football. It will be broadcast live on NFL Network. Vance Joseph of the Denver Broncos will be the head coach of the North squad while Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans will lead the South squad.