No Huddle: 49ers-Cardinals Preview With Steph Sanchez →
placeholder image

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch identifies standouts from 49ers’ offseason program

Jun 27, 2017 at 9:47 PM--

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joined "Gary and Larry" on KNBR Tuesday to discuss a number of topics. With the team's offseason program now complete and training camp still a month away, Lynch was asked which new players from organized team activities and minicamps really stood out to the first-time general manager.

The first player who Lynch mentioned was rookie tight end George Kittle – a fifth-round draft pick out of Iowa.

"I think one that's been talked about a lot out there and, like you said, you don't want to overreact to OTAs, but George Kittle, a guy we got in the fifth-round is a guy who really flashed," Lynch said. "He's got some suddenness to him in his movements. He catches the ball extremely well. One of the things we knew is that we weren't going to be able to build this to the way we want it in one year.

"I think George gives us something we don't have in a playmaker like down near the red zone, where you've got a one-on-one matchup. We're confident we're going to move the ball because Kyle knows how to put together an offense and we've got guys who fit into what he wants to do. The speed, the separators, all that.

"One thing you have to be able to do when you're down near the red zone and everything tightens up, you have guys that can just man-on-man beat the guy in front of him. We were concerned we didn't have that and were going to have to live without it for a year. We feel like George Kittle maybe gives us something where he is that guy who on a one-on-one situation, you can flex him out. You can put him in the middle of the field and he can kind of impose his will and just out-athlete people. That has been extremely positive. We thought that coming in but then he probably exceeded our expectations."

Kittle may be the only tight end who is a lock to make the 53-man roster. That position may be one of the more intriguing battles during training camp.

Another player who Lynch mentioned was former Oakland Raiders linebacker Malcolm Smith, who was signed at the start of free agency.

"He's exceeded our expectations, my own expectations, just in terms of his athleticism (and) how he moves out there," Lynch said.

Lynch addressed the criticism that the 49ers might have overpaid for Smith by saying that they needed a linebacker who had been in this system before. Smith was part of the Seattle Seahawks defense from 2011 until 2014. Gus Bradley, whom current 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh worked under, was the defensive coordinator in Seattle during Smith's first two seasons in the league.

The 49ers general manager made it a point to name one returning player from the 2016 season. Second-year cornerback Rashard Robinson is among those who have impressed Lynch this offseason. Robinson is a favorite to be the 49ers' top cornerback on the depth chart once the season kicks off.

"I didn't know much about Rashard Robinson but when you watch him in OTAs, he looks like a number one cornerback and that certainly was a position of need and of concern for us," Lynch said. "And Rashard has made us feel a lot better about that position."

Lynch also mentioned pass rusher Elvis Dumervil but acknowledges that there is some concern whether or not he can be the player he was earlier in his career.

"We tend to think that he's had a couple of bad years with health and at the end of last year, we started to see a guy who was getting healthy," Lynch said. "So we made the move with him."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR.


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

49ers agree to multi-year contract extensions with Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch

By David Bonilla
Sep 22

The San Francisco 49ers plan to keep the band together for a long time. The team announced that it has agreed to multi-year contract extensions with head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Details of the contracts are currently unknown. Before the new deals, Shanahan had been signed through the 2025 season, while Lynch was locked up through the 2024 season. They will now remain with the team longer than that. The 49ers Communications staff provided the following rundown. The duo joined the 49ers in February of 2017 and have since led the organization to the postseason three times, claimed two NFC West division titles (2019 & 2022), reached three NFC Championship games (2019 & 2021-22) and a trip to Super Bowl

placeholder image

John Lynch: Brandon Aiyuk's status for 49ers-Giants remains "very fluid," could be game-time decision

By David Bonilla
Sep 20

This week's focus remains on San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The team has a short week to prepare for its next opponent—the New York Giants on Thursday night at Levi's Stadium. The matchup comes just four days after the Niners' 30-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Aiyuk suffered a shoulder injury on his first catch, a 13-yard reception during San Francisco's opening drive. He was in and out of the lineup throughout the game and was limited during the 49ers' light Tuesday practice. On Tuesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the decision will come down to how Aiyuk feels and the evaluation from the training staff. It sounds like the receiver may end up being a

placeholder image

John Lynch, Steve Wilks believe sacks will come for 49ers' Nick Bosa

By David Bonilla
Sep 20

Nick Bosa played 56 percent of the defensive snaps in Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year did not reach Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett in the game. On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers pass rusher played 79 percent of the defensive snaps, again being held without a sack as Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford quickly got the football out of his hands. Bosa held out for six weeks as he awaited a contract extension, which didn't come until just days before Week 1. The defensive end missed all of training camp and the preseason. Has the absence contributed to a lack of productivity? "I've always said, I don't care who you are, you need to get your football legs underneath you," general manager

placeholder image

How Christian McCaffrey unlocked the 49ers offense, per John Lynch

By David Bonilla
Sep 21

The San Francisco 49ers struggled to a .500 record in their first six games last season. Knowing that the talent was there, the team's decision-makers looked to make a move that could elevate the roster to a Super Bowl contender. That move was trading for running back Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey suited up in red and gold just two days after arriving in Santa Clara. His first start came the next week against the Los Angeles Rams. San Francisco won that game and the 11 that followed, reaching the NFC Championship Game for the third time in four seasons. The decision to add yet another playmaker paid off. "We really felt like Christian, already having [WR] Deebo [Samuel], having [WR Brandon] Aiyuk, having [TE George] Kittle, having [RB] Elijah


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone