John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan say drafting Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk was ‘big time’ for 49ers

Apr 23, 2020 at 10:28 PM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan joined KNBR on Thursday night. They discussed the team's first-round selections of South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Lynch said they emerged from Day 1 of the draft "absolutely thrilled" with the players acquired. Heading into the draft, Shanahan didn't believe it would have been possible to land both Kinlaw and Aiyuk, two players that he and Lynch coveted.

"We just found a guy (in Kinlaw) that we thought was perfect for the way we play," Lynch told Mark Willard and Larry Krueger. "A really, really nice fit, so we pulled the trigger on Javon."

Lynch's and Shanahan's admiration for Aiyuk grew the more they studied him.

"We felt like he was a guy who gives you the strength necessary in today's football, but also the breakaway ability," Lynch explained. "He can take it to the house."

Shanahan said the 49ers would have been willing to take Aiyuk higher, if necessary. He even admitted that the team would have been willing to draft him at No. 13. That's how much they thought of him.

Said Shanahan: "The fact that we got [Kinlaw], and continued to add to our defensive line, to me, which was one of the main reasons that we took such a big jump last year. To be able to add a guy like that while losing [DeForest Buckner], and still to be able to add the receiver that we possibly might have taken there anyways, is a hell of a deal, and something that I don't think John or I really anticipated, going into this."

Lynch added that coming out of the first round with both Kinlaw and Aiyuk was "big time" for the 49ers.

"I thought it went better than we could have imagined," Shanahan said.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch and Shanahan below.

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