49ers 2019 NFL Draft News: GM John Lynch to Select 'Best Player Available'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2019

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said Wednesday that the team's offseason moves will allow the front office to focus on selecting the "best player available" in the 2019 NFL draft.

Lynch said the Niners, who signed linebacker Kwon Alexander, cornerback Jason Verrett and wide receiver Jordan Matthews while also trading for defensive end Dee Ford, now have options when it comes to the No. 2 overall pick in the first round, which takes place April 25.

"In terms of what we did, it gave us flexibility," he told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. "We had some ideas of areas where we had to get better. 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."

San Francisco, which is betting on Jimmy Garoppolo to become its franchise quarterback, is probably hoping the Arizona Cardinals select one of the 2019 class' top signal-callers, either Kyler Murray of Oklahoma or Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, with the first pick.

That would give Lynch and Co. their choice of any of prospect.

Most of this year's top incoming players are on the defensive side of the ball, led by Ohio State edge-rusher Nick Bosa, Kentucky edge-rusher Josh Allen and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.

"We've done a lot of work on those guys," Lynch said. "We've done a lot of work on the entire draft class, but it really gets hyperfocused now. We've condensed a lot of the information. Now the coaches come up and we put it all together."

The 49ers made some much-needed additions on defense with Ford, Alexander and Verrett, but there's still voids to fill in the front seven. The team ranked 27th in scoring defense (27.2 points per game) and tied for 22nd in sacks (37) last season.

Adding an elite prospect to a retooled defense and getting back Garoppolo, who suffered a torn ACL in September, would make San Francisco a candidate for a major turnaround in 2019.


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