49ers

49ers GM John Lynch believes free agency work set team up for NFL draft

49ers GM John Lynch believes free agency work set team up for NFL draft

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Through the first wave of NFL free agency, 49ers general manager John Lynch said he believes the club has set up itself for the next month's draft.

“In terms of what we did, it gave us flexibility,” Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday at Ohio State’s Pro Day. “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.”

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Lynch and vice president of player personnel Adam Peters spent the past two days getting to better know two of the top candidates for the 49ers’ first-round selection.

Lynch and Peters were in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Tuesday and met with Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. On Wednesday, Lynch and Peters were heading off to have a late lunch with former Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa.

“He’s a great kid and a tremendous player,” Lynch said of the meeting with Williams. “I enjoyed it.”

Lynch first met Bosa in Pasadena when he attended an Ohio State practice before Rose Bowl. Bosa withdrew from school in November to focus on his rehabilitation from core muscle surgery. Bosa was working out in Southern California and came by to support his former teammates when he met Lynch. The 49ers also met with Bosa last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“He’s a good kid,” Lynch said of Bosa. “We’re looking forward to spending more time with him.”

Lynch said the 49ers have not compiled their list of 30 official pre-draft visits, but Williams and Bosa appear to be strong candidates to make a visit to Santa Clara before the draft, too.

Neither Williams nor Bosa worked out at their pro days, opting to stand on their results from the combine. Kentucky outside linebacker Josh Allen, whose pro day is Friday, will also not work out. Lynch and Peters will not attend Kentucky’s pro day.

“Most of the top guys aren’t working out, especially if they did well at the combine,” Lynch said. “But you have an opportunity to come sit with them and talk with them.

“I think it’s good to be out for a number of reasons. The schools we visited the last couple of days, Alabama and Ohio State, I don’t think they’re going anywhere. They’re going to be producing players, so it’s good to continue to foster those relationships that we can help them and they can help us. And it’s really invaluable to just spend time with these guys.”

Lynch said the 49ers are still in the preliminary process of putting together their draft strategy with the No. 2 overall pick. Bosa, Williams and Allen are the prohibitive favorites.

“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 hyper-focused now. We’ve condensed a lot of the information. Now the coaches come up and we put it all together.”

Part of the puzzle for the team's plan for the draft was the first week of the NFL free-agent signing period. The 49ers signed starting linebacker Kwon Alexander and acquired starting defensive end Dee Ford in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 49ers also added potential starters at cornerback with Jason Verrett and safety with the re-signing of Jimmie Ward. The signing of wide receiver Jordan Matthews gives the 49ers a needed veteran presence to compete for significant playing time.

[RELATED: Why Quinnen Williams remains so humble before NFL draft]

The 49ers have 75 players under contract and are $37.2 million under the NFL's salary cap, according to NFLPA figures.

Lynch acknowledged the 49ers are rolling the dice on Verrett, a first-round draft pick in 2014 who has appeared in just 25 games in five seasons due to a variety of injuries.

“We recruited him hard because there were a number of people that were interested, and we’re glad we landed him,” Lynch said of Verrett. “You’re always thinking risk-reward. The potential reward with that one is pretty special. He’s made of the right stuff. We just got to see if we can help him and he can find a way to stay healthy.”

2019 NFL Draft order: Full list of Round 1 picks, No. 1 through No. 32

2019 NFL Draft order: Full list of Round 1 picks, No. 1 through No. 32

Teams will make their first-round picks at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn., and it's likely the order entering Thursday night's proceedings isn't how it will end up.

Trades always shake up the draft order, and a few teams are primed to make deals this year. The Raiders, for instance, own three first-round picks, and if they decided to package the Nos. 24 and 27 selections -- acquired in the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, respectively -- they could move up in the order.

There also has been rumblings that the No. 1 pick, owned by the Arizona Cardinals, is up for sale. If the Cardinals decide to deal, that could change the face of this draft, beginning with the 49ers' pick at No. 2.

Until then, we only can go off how the order is now, and you can see which teams own Nos. 1 through 32 in the list below.

2019 NFL DRAFT ORDER
1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New York Jets
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns in Odell Beckham Jr. trade)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears in Khalil Mack trade)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys in Amari Cooper trade)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs in Frank Clark trade)
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints in 2018 draft-day trade)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots

NFL draft tracker 2019: First-round pick, trade updates as they happen

NFL draft tracker 2019: First-round pick, trade updates as they happen

The 2019 NFL Draft starts Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn., and the Bay Area's two teams should be in the center of the action.

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick, and the Raiders have three selections -- Nos. 4, 24 and 27 -- meaning they have many options that could decide where the top prospects fall.

The 49ers seem set on Ohio State's Nick Bosa with their selection, but should the Arizona Cardinals, who own the No. 1 pick, surprisingly trade down or pick an edge rusher instead of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, their focus could change. One option: Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, whom many have ranked No. 1 on their draft boards.

Williams also could fit the Raiders with the No. 4 pick, but there have been whispers about a trade up to No. 1 for Murray. That might require the Raiders to give up two first-round picks, and should a deal happen, it would completely alter the league's landscape.

It promises to be an interesting slate of 32 picks made in Music City, and you can follow live as each selection is made in the 2019 NFL Draft tracker below:

1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New York Jets
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns in Odell Beckham Jr. trade)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears in Khalil Mack trade)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys in Amari Cooper trade)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs in Frank Clark trade)
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints in 2018 draft-day trade)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots