Any time a team has to part ways with an Pro Bowl-caliber player, it's never an easy decision for an NFL general manager.

For 49ers general manager John Lynch, the choice to send defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in a trade this offseason was particularly difficult.

"Probably the toughest thing I've done since I've been a general manger here," Lynch told reporters during a Zoom conference call. "It's a difficult part of this business, one that I don't think you can really prepare yourself when you move on from a player who embodies everything that you want to be about.

"We spend a lot of time talking about, ‘What's a 49er to us?’ and DeForest Buckner embodied that in every way on and off the field."

The 49ers' haul in return for the defensive lineman included the No. 13 overall pick, giving Lynch the opportunity to reload his roster potentially with another player of Buckner's caliber.

"We lost a special player in Buck," Lynch said. "A foundational-type player. So if you can find a foundational player at 13, that's something you have to weigh."

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NBC Sports Bay Area's latest mock draft has the Niners ending up with one of the draft's best wideouts, giving quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a potential new No. 1 receiver.

 

We'll all find out in a few days whether Lynch indeed finds that foundational player in the first round.