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49ers Flashback: Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch react to drafting Brandon Aiyuk

Apr 25, 2024 at 8:17 AM

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In 2020, the San Francisco 49ers traded up from the No. 31 overall pick to the No. 25 spot with their sights set on a wide receiver brimming with potential. It was the first year of COVID, so NFL teams conducted their drafts remotely, providing fans with a unique glimpse into team decision-makers' makeshift home war rooms.

Almost immediately after Aiyuk heard his name called, fans caught a glimpse of the reactions from head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

Reflecting on the unique situation, Lynch recently described the 2020 NFL Draft as "so strange."

"First of all, thinking no way we're going to be able to pull this off as a league, doing this remotely," Lynch said on Monday. "And what happens if I have terrible internet where I live? Here we are in the heart of Silicon Valley, and I drop phone calls left and right. So I'm sure a lot of people have experienced that. How are we going to put on a draft?

"But the league pulled it off. We were able to pull it off. Our video guys, our tech, our IT people did a tremendous job. It was strange, but it was fun. It was something different. And I remember trading for Trent Williams in my backyard and getting the word that it had come through because it wasn't looking good two days prior.

"So a lot of memories from that time. I prefer and enjoy it. I'm sure, like everybody, much more doing it up here in our draft room; a lot more comfortable. I think a much better situation. Those were strange times though."

Four years later, Aiyuk is looking to secure a lucrative contract extension. The receiver eagerly anticipates an extension that will undoubtedly make him one of the highest-paid wideouts in the NFL.

Despite swirling trade rumors surrounding Aiyuk's name, the 49ers remain steadfast in their desire to keep the talented receiver in red and gold for the foreseeable future.

"I've communicated on a couple of occasions, on many occasions, our wish," Lynch said. "And our wish is that he's here and a part of the Niners for the rest of his career. We're working through that."
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