John Lynch: Giants Asked for No. 2 Draft Pick in Odell Beckham Jr. Trade

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 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 he had talks with the New York Giants regarding star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who was eventually traded to the Cleveland Browns, but the asking price was too high. 

"I think, ironically, the fact that we had the No. 2 pick made it more difficult because they wanted that badly. They wanted two No. 1s," Lynch told Matt Barrows of The Athletic. "And we weren't willing to part with that. It was too valuable of a pick."

Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reported that San Francisco would have been open to swapping first-rounders with the Giants, however, going from No. 2 to No. 6:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

To add to this, word was the Niners would’ve been amenable to moving from 2 to 6 as part of a deal for Beckham. The problem was what would the rest of the compensation have been? That’s where it broke down.

That didn't happen, obviously. Instead, the Giants received Cleveland's 2019 first-round pick (No. 17 overall), a third-round pick (No. 95) and safety Jabrill Peppers, who was the No. 25 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, for Beckham.

It was an amazing deal for Cleveland, who found young quarterback Baker Mayfield a game-changing weapon. And the Giants got two solid picks and a player at a position of need, with Peppers replacing Landon Collins, who the Giants let walk in free agency. 

The Niners, meanwhile, kept the No. 2 overall pick, where one of the top defensive players in the draft should be available. This year's draft is loaded with edge-rushers, and either Nick Bosa or Josh Allen—or perhaps both, if the Arizona Cardinals select Kyler Murray with the top overall pick and trade Josh Rosen—will be on the board. 

Tim Kawakami @timkawakami

It really might've been as simple as either Bosa/Allen (with #2 overall) ... or OBJ. If the 49ers were giving up Bosa/Allen, they wanted OBJ AND #6 (to get a defensive player), I think. Question was what else they'd have to give up to make NYGs agree. https://t.co/paFLmJtK0u

The possibility of landing Bosa, who has the potential to be an elite edge-rusher for the next decade, meant the Niners would have been giving up a younger player at a premium position for the 26-year-old Beckham. The counter-argument is that Beckham is more of a sure thing at the NFL level, having already posted four seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards.

He would have been a huge upgrade to the Niners' receiving group. But the decision to remain at No. 2 and nab a potential franchise-changing pass-rusher was logical for the Niners as they continue to build around young talent.