What the 2020 draft says about this 49ers regime for years to come

Michael Cataldo
Apr 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM0


What a weekend.

The last three days for the 49ers organization and fanbase has been a roller coaster ride. Losing Joe Staley to retirement is going to sting, but gaining Trent Williams to replace him makes the healing process much easier.

The collaboration that Shanahan and Lynch have proved is commendable.

It is not just with their words on every news conference they join together, but with their actions that truly demonstrate their outstanding partnership--something that Niner fans can appreciate.

With the 2020 draft now over and next season around the corner (hopefully), here are two main takeaways about the 49ers regime we should remember for future drafts:

1) Defensive line will always be the 49ers' identity


Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


The 49ers had the biggest turnaround last season primarily due to the defensive line. After trading DeForest Buckner, one could argue that Kris Kocurek's unit was still the strongest in NFL with Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead and Dee Ford.

Maybe this was the time to bolster another position of need?

Surprise, surprise. John Lynch quadrupled down by scooping up Javon Kinlaw who immediately fills in for DeForest.

It is evident that the Lynch will continue to invest valuable draft capital to keep our defensive line the strength of our team:

"We built a pretty good unit there and we wanted to keep that strong. We thought he (Kinlaw) was a great fit for that."

Analysts around the NFL had a wideout mocked to San Francisco, and both Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb were available after trading back one spot. Going with Javon Kinlaw was not the popular choice, but fans should get be used to it by now.

History shows that there's been plenty of successful 1st round players John Lynch has passed on that were linked to the 49ers:

  • 2018: Derwin James, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tremaine Edmunds
  • 2017: Jamal Adams, Christian McCaffrey

Time will tell with Jeudy and Lamb.

The 49ers regime is not interested in making flashy picks but rather drafting guys who fit on the field and in the locker room. It is a hard pill to swallow for some, but one that fans must respect given the rapid turnaround in the last 4 years.

Defensive line will always be the 49ers' heart and identity of the team as long as John Lynch is at the helm.

2) If Coach Shanahan loves a player, John Lynch will act on it


AP


There is a pattern now in drafts that John Lynch will trade up for the guy Shanahan covets.

In 2017, Lynch traded up to select C.J. Beathard and Joe Williams and the same occurred in 2018 with Dante Pettis.

The trend continued on Friday. The 49ers swapped 1st round picks and added two more to Minnesota (4th: #117, 5th: #176) to move up only 6 spots for Brandon Aiyuk.

In that moment, it felt like the 49ers gave up too much, but Lynch was able to retrieve 5th and 6th round picks following the trades of Matt Breida and Marquise Goodwin on Day 3.

Shanahan mentioned that he would've been fine taking WR Brandon Aiyuk at #13:

"...what he's (Aiyuk) put on tape this year at Arizona State and getting to meet the person, everything he did there, he was more than a viable option there at 13."

Deebo Samuel was still on the board last year in Round 2, but I'm sure John Lynch would have traded up if Shanahan felt like Deebo would be gone by Pick 36.

Kyle Shanahan evaluates offensive skill positions much differently than the rest of the league, so we should not be surprised about any early round selections moving forward.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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