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Kyle Shanahan discusses the selection of Reuben Foster on KNBR

Apr 27, 2017 at 10:07 PM--

When the dust settled following the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers ended up with two of the three top players on their draft board and they got those newest roster members at the beginning and end of the round. The 49ers were involved in two trades on Thursday night and ended up with the third and 31st overall selections.

The 49ers used the two picks in the first round to select Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. Who was atop their 200-player draft board? Texas A&M edge defender Myles Garrett sat at the top spot followed by Thomas and Foster.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR following the completion of the first round and discussed how he felt things went for the team.

"If you would have told me before this that at the end of the night, at the end of the end of the first round, we were going to have Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster and a few extra picks later, I wouldn't have believed you," Shanahan said. "I think things went real well and I'm really excited about how it went."

Regarding Foster, who's stock fell following a number of issues since his college career ended, Shanahan said that the team did its homework on the linebacker. "The thing about Reuben is we know he's made some mistakes but – you guys will see when he gets down here – he's a very good person," he said. "We really believe in him. We flew him down here (and) spent a lot of time with him. Probably talked to him on the phone or Facetime I'd say about eight of the last 12 days. So we developed a relationship with him pretty good and he's a very honest person. He's explained to us everything. We're very happy to have him."

RELATED Round 1, Pick 31: 49ers select Alabama LB Reuben Foster

After selecting Thomas with the third pick, Shanahan said that everyone in the draft war room sat there and waited to see when Foster, the next player on their board, would be selected. "From five on, I'm betting when Reuben's going to go," Shanahan said. "I probably lost about 20 bets in a row."

Eventually, with Foster still available, the 49ers started thinking about making a move to get the linebacker. That's when they started talking to other NFL teams. The 49ers eventually ended up moving up from the 34th overall selection to the 31st in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks to select Foster.

The last time Shanahan saw Foster, his arm was in a sling. Following the 2016 season, Foster underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. It was an injury that prevented the linebacker from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine. Although, Foster is confident that he is fully healed. Shanahan said that the team's doctors and trainers felt good about the recovery process and where Foster is right now.

"I'd be surprised if he can't help us this year," Shanahan said. "When you know a guy's not going to be hurt long-term, you know you're going to get him quickly, you don't want that stuff to affect your decision. As a coach, I want him to be ready the first day he gets here but I'm pretty confident he'll be ready and play for us this season. If something did happen to happen, like you mentioned – our doctors felt that it wouldn't – but if it did, that stuff still gets taken care of. It's not like it's going to be career threatening and it's going to change who we have. I feel very confident about that stuff."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.


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