Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Lynch, 49ers Likely to Draft Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams at No. 2

Levin T. Black
Mar 21, 2019 at 2:48 PM6


This San Francisco 49ers regime doesn't leak information. No anonymous sources giving the media the information they seek. This makes the 49ers' specific plans hard to decipher.

With so many safeties available in free agency this year the 49ers would surely sign one, right? Earl Thomas would be pursued hard because he knew the 49ers defensive system and is close with Richard Sherman, right?

Wrong. The 49ers reportedly didn't offer Thomas any deal. Instead the team traded for Dee Ford and signed Kwon Alexander. Neither were expected to be the top targets for the 49ers even though they are good fits.

This is why general manager John Lynch's comments on Wednesday were so surprising.

"We had some ideas of areas where we had to get better," Lynch said in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. "And what we did gave us flexibility to just focus on going out and getting the best player available, particularly with that top spot, regardless of the position."

No need to read between the lines here. Lynch made it clear the 49ers plan to take the best player available at No. 2. The safe bets are Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams. The pair are at the top of nearly every draft expert's rankings. ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, the NFL's Daniel Jeremiah and the Draft Network's Jon Ledyard all have Bosa at the top followed by Williams.

With the 49ers having the second overall pick, if Bosa and Williams are at the top of the 49ers' board they are assured one of the two.

The configuration of the defensive line changes based on which one the 49ers take. Bosa would slot into the big end position for the 49ers. Being a strong defensive end capable of setting the edge on run plays, Bosa would likely be in that defensive end spot in both base and nickel formations.

That means incumbent big end Arik Armstead would be pushed inside to the defensive tackle position next to DeForest Buckner. Armstead would split playing time at that spot with Solomon Thomas assuming one of the two isn't traded before the season.

If Williams is the selection, being a defensive tackle, he would take the starting spot on the interior next to Buckner. This keeps Armstead at big end and raises serious questions as to what role Thomas would serve for the 49ers.

Williams is a rare defensive tackle prospect in terms of greatness. He is an excellent run defender and collapses pockets from the inside on passing plays. There is little doubt the Williams/Buckner pairing on the interior would be a nightmare for opposing offenses. Getting pressure up the middle not only blows up run plays but also prevents a quarterback from stepping into throws.

Completing the defensive line with Bosa wouldn't make things any easier for offenses. With Ford putting the pedal to the floor off the edge opposite of Bosa, the 49ers would have a dynamic ability to get into the backfield from the outside. Buckner wouldn't be able to be double teamed on the inside if teams had to account for Bosa and Ford on the outside.

Some fans may not be excited to see the 49ers use the top pick on the defensive line for the fourth time in five years, especially for a defensive tackle. Make no mistake, adding either Bosa or Williams would give the 49ers control of the trenches and help the secondary by forcing earlier throws.

However, it is the time of smoke screens, misdirection and flat out lies from NFL teams. The period between the NFL Combine and the draft are when front offices try to play mind games with one another.

For his part, Lynch has proven to be pretty trustworthy in this regard. You just can never fully trust what any team representative says this time of year.

Things can force Lynch to change his mind. If a team, like the New York Giants or the Oakland Raiders, offers multiple first round picks this year plus more picks next year the 49ers would at least listen. The 49ers may love a specific player but teams trading up for a quarterback have been known to give up so much the other team can't say no. It is possible a bidding war emerges for the No. 2 pick.

Finally, there is the possibility the 49ers have another player above Williams or Bosa on their board. Don't forget, this is the 49ers regime that made it known it had Reuben Foster third on its board and was content to take him at No. 3 if Thomas was already taken in the 2017 draft.

Lynch's recent comments make it more likely Bosa or Williams will be in red and gold come draft day but it does not make it a lock.
  • Levin T. Black
  • Written by:
    A graduate of Ball State University in 2009, Levin was an award winning sports journalist until he transitioned into a different career. He's written for Webzone since 2018.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


6 Comments

  • Ceadderman
    Please let it be Bosa. With Ford on the opposite side of Armstead and Buckner, there really is no doubt that it should be Bosa. With these four up Front, it will give the Opposing Offensive Front absolute fits. If we pick up Williams, we'd have to rotate either Armstead(not an Edge Rusher) or Buckner to the outside and out of their skill set. I like Williams but you need a solid Pass Rush to take the pressure off the Secondary. Our secondary was so beat up by the middle of the season, Sheattle's smurf of a QB escaped all too often making plays that simply shouldn't have happened. Of course the Officials helped them a few times with BS roughing calls, but with a solid Pass Rush, filling the gaps their Backs wouldn't have been able to make big gains in long yardage situations. That Roughing call on two of our Defenders was a travesty. Outside of the pocket running with the ball, the QB is fair game. Wilson made that mistake, and the 9ers paid for it with a BS 15 yard penalty even though they hit him cleanly. Having a solid Defensive Front, Edge to Edge would negate those silly penalties.
    Mar 29, 2019 at 3:52 PM
    0
  • Joseph
    Please let the pick be Josh Allen, Bosa
    Mar 23, 2019 at 1:21 PM
    0
  • Frank
    Lynch's job is on the line after taking Tomas and Foster two years ago. He has to draft either Bosa or Allen as they need another edge rusher plus both are cannot miss players. 49ers do not need another interior lineman.
    Mar 22, 2019 at 10:50 AM
    3
  • Gotem
    Chris Bosa can potentially fit at SAM but your thinking is wrong if u think the 49ers will do a carbon copy of what Seattle has done. In truth the league is evolving to more 3-3-5s
    Mar 22, 2019 at 10:28 AM
    0
  • Chris
    Why do you guys keep saying Bosa is playing the big end? Bosa will be our Cliff Avril and play SAM IN 4-3 and DE in nickel. Armstead and Thomas will combine to be our Michael Bennett who played the big end in 4-3 and slide to DT in nickel. Ford = Irvin (LEO) Bosa = Avril (SAM/DE) Armstead/Thomas = Bennett (big end/DT).
    Mar 21, 2019 at 6:26 PM
    2
  • Ladale
    So it’s Josh Allen...
    Mar 21, 2019 at 5:45 PM
    4

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