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February 26, 2017
The San Francisco 49ers won’t commit to anything when it comes to using the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft.
“We could stay pat right there and find a fabulous player, a game-changing player,” general manager John Lynch said, per Eric Branch and Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It gives us a lot of flexibility to do some other things if we chose to be bold. There are going to be people that covet the pick we have, so there’s going to be some people that want to move up.”
San Francisco went 2-14 this past season, its third straight year without a winning record after reaching the conference title game in 2013. The organization effectively cleaned house in the offseason, hiring Lynch as the new general manager and former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to be the new head coach.
Although the team is hoping the new leadership will create a change in culture, the 49ers also need an influx of talent, and a trade for more picks could be beneficial.
Meanwhile, San Francisco is clearly in need of a franchise quarterback after getting inconsistent play out of Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick this past season. Still, the organization is clear that it doesn’t plan to reach to fill the position in the top of the first round.
“The worst mistakes you can make is you take a guy who isn’t that good of a player, or worthy of that,” Shanahan said.
The Oakland Raiders will apparently be the model after turning around a struggling franchise behind linebacker Khalil Mack and quarterback Derek Carr. Instead of taking Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater in the first round of the 2014 draft, the squad instead waited until the second to land Carr, who has quickly developed into one of the top passers in the NFL.
Regardless of the strategy, San Francisco will hope to find impact players throughout the draft who can help the team return to contention.