Shortly after 49ers general manager John Lynch was hired in January, he was on the phone with Broncos executive Adam Peters, whom Lynch eventually hired on his second full day on the job.

One of Lynch’s first questions to his soon-to-be right-hand man was about the upcoming draft: “We’ve got the No. 2 pick. Who are you taking?”

Lynch recently laughed as relayed Peters’ answer: “Without hesitation,” Lynch recalled, “he said ‘Reuben Foster.’”

Yes, Peters, the 49ers vice president of player personnel, was championing Foster four months ago and Lynch also fell for the Alabama inside linebacker before his first draft. The 49ers, of course, selected Foster, ranked third on their draft board, with the No. 31 pick. Foster fell to them because of injury and off-the-field concerns that gained momentum leading up to the draft.

Still, the 49ers, who selected Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas at No. 3 overall, maintained their high level of interest in Foster. And it’s clear Peters helped lead the charge, perhaps even before he was officially hired by the 49ers in January.

“A lot has transpired then and (Peters) loved Solomon Thomas, too, I don’t want to get that mistaken,” Lynch said. “But he was a huge champion of Reuben Foster. Like I said, so much transpired from there to there. But (Peters) was big on that one. I know that.”

As noted here, Peters kept noticing Foster more than a year ago when he was studying video of Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland, a second-round pick, before the 2016 draft. This year, Lynch had a similar experience as he watched Alabama, which had four other defensive players selected in the first two rounds.

“The big joke was you turned on Alabama to watch anyone and you couldn’t stop watching No. 10 (Foster),” Lynch said. “He just kind of kept jumping out at you. So I think while we are all proud to have claimed him, it was pretty easy to do so.”

Twitter: @Eric_Branch

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