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How owning a 1st-round pick impacts (or doesn’t) the 49ers’ draft strategy

Feb 29, 2024 at 10:21 AM--


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Barring any unforeseen changes between now and the end of April, the San Francisco 49ers will be making a first-round selection in the draft for the first time since 2021. The team's last two first-round picks were part of the deal used to move up and select quarterback Trey Lance three years ago.

With Lance now a member of the Dallas Cowboys and Brock Purdy inked in as the 49ers' starter for the foreseeable future, the team is in a different position heading into this year's draft. They expect to own 11 selections, including the No. 31 overall pick.

General manager John Lynch and his staff are currently in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine. They are evaluating prospects and strategizing for the upcoming draft, including what to do with their first-round selection.

Team reporter Lindsey Pallares spoke with Lynch, asking how finally owning a first-round pick again impacts the team's draft strategy.

"Really, it doesn't," Lynch responded. "It gives you a little more to do on day one. Day one, we've been doing a lot of prep and obviously stay by the phones and things like that, but we've had great success late in the draft. We've had success early in the draft. So I think every draft pick is an opportunity to improve your team, and we look at it as such, and it is nice to have the first-round pick again."

Lynch and the 49ers are also focused on signing Brandon Aiyuk to a contract extension this offseason. The team drafted the wide receiver with the No. 25 overall pick in 2020 and has prioritized securing contract extensions for its most talented core players in recent years.

"So to offset a lot of the players who we've taken, most of them homegrown, who we've drafted and then given big deals, you have to constantly be getting that next group of young players," Lynch explained. "I thought we had a nice draft class last year that contributed more as the season went on, and I think a lot of those guys will contribute in years to come.

"So you constantly have to be adding to that, and that's why this process is so important."



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