John Lynch says 49ers have first-round grades on 30 players in this draft

Apr 24, 2018 at 3:39 PM--

After being probed extensively about the ongoing situation with linebacker Reuben Foster, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch was finally asked about the draft during his pre-draft press conference. During the evaluation process, NFL teams will assign various grades to players, such as those worthy of being selected in the first round and those likely to play at a Pro Bowl level over their career.

Lynch said the 49ers have first-round grades on 30 players heading into Thursday's draft.

"I think as the board stands currently as we're coming into this meeting, there's probably about 30 guys that we have first-round grades on," Lynch told reporters on Monday. "I love where we're at in terms of the ninth pick. When you talk about the nature of this draft, it's an interesting one I think for a couple of reasons. They're all interesting because you never know how they're going to play out.

"Number one, the teams up top are doing a tremendous job of not telegraphing their intentions. I think you have people who are kind of known and respected for information not leaving their building, they're doing a really good job of that. There's four quarterbacks up at the top. That always changes things. So this thing could break in a ton of different directions.

"What's important for us, being at nine, you don't just fall in love with one player and say, 'Hey, that's the guy.' You better have multiple answers because multiple things could happen in terms of how this draft breaks."

To compare the number of first-round grades the 49ers have placed on players, Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones recently stated that his team has first-round grades on 17 players.

While the 49ers' number of first-round grades is comparable to last year's draft, Lynch believes that the upcoming draft is deep with talent.

"There's a lot of people around this league that feel that there's about 100 players that you can go into and find starters in this draft. I think it's a deep draft and that excites us about the opportunity, the prospect of improving your team. There's a lot of good football players out there."

Of course, four of the players with first-round grades are quarterbacks, and the 49ers will not be selecting a quarterback in the round one. They already have Jimmy Garoppolo, who signed a five-year deal in February that's worth up to $137.5 million. The team also drafted quarterback C.J. Beathard last year.

"Pro Bowl grades, I think on our board, we've got probably 12 of those guys that we deem kind of worthy of that," Lynch continued. "I think that would indicate kind of the top 12 players. There's a little bit of a drop after that."

Coincidentally, the Buffalo Bills own the 12th-overall pick as well as the 22nd-overall pick. So if the 49ers could manage to trade down with a team like Buffalo, they would still be guaranteed to land one the players they have with a Pro Bowl grade. Of course, there may be quarterbacks among those 12, which may alter things a bit since the team is unlikely to select a new signal caller that high – if at all.

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