John Lynch will defer to Kyle Shanahan when it comes to drafting QBs, 49ers duo focused on making ‘right decision’

Apr 26, 2021 at 1:38 PM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan are well-aware of the pulse of the fanbase. While they love and respect fan opinions, the duo doesn't plan on letting the chatter influence its decision on who to draft on Thursday with the No. 3 overall pick.

"I think our job is to make the right decision," Lynch said Monday during the team's annual pre-draft press conference. "We've been charged with making the right decision for this football club, and that's what Kyle and I always set out to do, is do our best. We include a lot of people. I think we have been incredibly thorough. I know this process has been as thorough as any one I've ever been a part of."

What has factored into their decision is the opinions of their personnel, from scouts to coaches, and even the prospects' family members. Lynch acknowledged that the ultimate decision, when it comes to the draft, falls on him contractually. However, when it comes to quarterbacks, he will defer to Shanahan.

"But ultimately, someone's got to be charged with making a decision," Lynch said. "And in this case, it's the both of us. ... I told Kyle from the beginning, he and I are doing this together. And when it comes to quarterbacks, I would be foolish, I believe -- we have a head coach who's also our offensive play-caller -- I will always defer to him.

"You know what's cool about that? I think Kyle respects my opinion enough, he always wants it. Ultimately, we arrive at decisions. We will, and come Thursday, we'll have a pick that hopefully makes everyone proud. But that will be judged in years to come, and we've done our best to make sure it's a great decision for this franchise."

Last month, the 49ers traded up nine spots from No. 12 overall to get into a position to draft a quarterback of the future. It will be a heavily critiqued decision, no matter who is selected, given how much the team surrendered to get to the No. 3 spot.

"I would love to make everyone happy," Shanahan said during the press conference. "Everyone wants to do that. I've been in the league long enough that you do have to block that stuff out. You can't make decision based off of [fans' opinions].

"... We could have sat there at 12, and waited to see which one came to us. And I think whichever one did, if one did -- like I said when we started it, I think there's five guys, and if one came to us at 12, I think that could have looked really good, and you don't have to worry about that stuff, and everyone thinks you did it right.

"But we made a decision in this process that we felt we needed to get a starting quarterback this year and add that to our team. And when we sit there at 12, way back in the day, we wanted to dictate it. We also were worried maybe the one we ended up wanting doesn't fall to 12, and why don't we move up there to a spot where we can take the best look at everyone? We know we'll get one, and we'll get the one that, after putting in a lot of work to do everything, we feel we're going to get the one that's best for us."

Shanahan added: "I hope the fans are happy with it. But the key is, ultimately, they're going to be happy based off how we do in the future, not how they feel that night."

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